Every year at this time I happily set off to the floral wholesalers to see what spring bulb flowers have made their appearance. There are dozens of varieties and colors of tulips – fringed, French, pointy-petaled Kaufmania and Greigii, singles, doubles, striped and ruffled parrot tulips. I buy whatever appeals to me, blissfully free of my usual shopping list for a specific kind or color of flower arrangement. It’s like walking into a store and choosing what you love without thinking about what’s practical – a very liberating feeling (even with something as modest as a bouquet of flowers.)
There are delicate lilies of the valley, geometrically-checked fritillaria, and towering agapanthus in both blue and white. The homegrown stuff is pretty fabulous too – pots of narcissus, jonquils, daffodils, hyacinth, little tubs of crocus and a pot or two of pheasant-eye daffodils: white daffs with a yellow-and-red-fringed cup that looks exactly like a pheasant’s eye. There are towering branches of pussy willow, cherry blossoms and quince, and I never leave without an interesting type of greens to be displayed together in an all-green bouquet. This time it was Cordata, with a heart-shaped leaf and the most interesting red stem running up it. The grocery stores are carrying spring flowers now, so it’s a good time to indulge a bit and bring home a bit of this welcome season.