According to the Farmer’s Almanac, spring officially starts on March 19 or March 20 this year. According to a French news report though, spring sprung on the 1st of March, and will official transition to summer at midnight on May the 31st (meteorologically-speaking, that is.). The same news bulletin also reported that Europe has just enjoyed the warmest winter in a century. And it’s clear to see.
Although Belgium was pretty cold all of a sudden when I visited for a week, you could see that nature was convinced it was time to spring forth in a crescendo of colour. My family’s much-visited garden was shaking off the browns of winter, with fresh green shoots and colourful buds muscling their way into the pasty sunlight.
This is the home I knew so well back in the 1980s, and the garden I spent much time in.
And then there is François’ pride and joy: the orchid glasshouse, which opens directly onto the dining area. When I lived in the house as a teenager, I was always amazed at the creeper-covered ceiling. Previously the ceiling started developing mould, because of the hot, humid conditions the orchids need to grow, but the creeper seems to thrive as it absorbs a lot of that moisture. My mould-lined lungs don’t allow me to hang out in the room for a long; just long enough to appreciate the beauty.