Blossoms on many decorative tree types were detected as early as mid-December. Decorative cherry trees lining a major thoroughfare were happily blooming prior to Christmas. The tulip trees only recently dropped their large white flowers. A spindly tree tucked away among the evergreens in a wild section of a local arboretum started flowering in early December, a full three months ahead of schedule. The aroma of the delicate lilac-like blossom is intoxicating.
Most grocery stores have begun to stock plants normally made available in late February or March. Unlike many locals still hibernating, gardeners are wide awake and snapping up plants for their garden creations. Seed stands are fully stocked and positioned in the path of shoppers as they approach the cash registers.
There are a lot of gardeners in our neck of the woods. Gardens are being prepared. Vine trellises are being repaired after winter windstorms, which have been few thus far. There are several large plots of land set aside for apartment-bound people to rent a patch of earth to grow whatever they want to harvest: vegetables; flowers; fruit bearing vines. There were once many more rentable garden plots, but due to the allure of profit, owners have allowed developers to subdivide properties and erect expensive condominiums and townhouses on the former food-bearing ground.
The gardener knows he or she must tend the garden. Weeds must be cleared for food plants to grow. The soil must be fertilized to enhance growth (and the flavour of the food plants).