The Colour of Spring

In my mind’s eye the colour of spring is tender:  pink and white and violet, and dimpled daffodil yellow; diaphanous blue; soft, lush green; all steeped in  warm, lemon honey sunshine.  But that is not often the reality of spring,  particularly  in Christchurch where, in September, the average sunshine hours per day number 5.5.

No, the colour of spring is more nuanced than my mind’s eye would have it. It is frequently overcast with grey,

Spring Grey

Spring Grey

and dim drizzle,  (skip to the end of the video if you  are interested in the cherry blossom)

and shaded skies.

Spring under shaded sky

Spring under shaded sky

But for all that  my spring is not mental picture-perfect, I still love it. And I will take it any way it comes.

I love spring however it is served.

I love spring however it is served;  but I don’t eat daffodils ~ they’re poisonous ~ just saying ;).

 

191 thoughts on “The Colour of Spring

  1. Cynthia Reyes

    That video is a beauty — mesmerizing to see the daffodils in the park while listening to that soothing, refreshing music — and those cherry trees — wow! All cities and towns should have one or more avenues of such cherry trees, especially for those spring times when the weather is grey.

    Reply
      1. melodylowes

        I just finished cutting back some tall perennials for the winter and dismantled all my pretty lights for the seasons. *sniff* Almost all tucked in and ready for snow!

        Reply
  2. Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

    I love your descriptions so much! And the video is beauteous. So, so wonderful, mesmerising even. Can’t but notice how lovely empty the park was, thanks to the grisaille! 😉

    Reply
  3. lensandpensbysally

    Each season has its yin/yang moments. Your philosophy encourages the appreciation of the here and now. That’s a healthy outlook. Spring has always meant rejuvenation to me, and the rains are part of that process. But after winter “we” crave color and light to heal us. Enjoy the glorious moments of spring. We’re in autumn here on the East Coast, USA. Colors are slow to hit the leaves. But acorns abound. Enjoy your weekend and spring treats.

    Reply
  4. Liz

    Cherry blossom is such an iconic sign of spring isn’t it – beautiful. And I guess that we should be thankful for the greys because they help showcase the other colours so wonderfully! 🙂

    Reply
        1. Liz

          wow those gloves are funky! thanks so much for these suggestions, which are utterly perfect – really nice of you to be thinking of what I might need next year 🙂 I know of loads of hat/mitts combos so will have a browse and get ordering!! Re socks, I love the idea of knitting socks but so far have not managed to embrace it – perhaps this is my chance and I could have a trio of matching items!! 🙂

  5. Sheila

    Your beautiful words launched me right back into spring. I know what you mean about the gray drizzle. It’s like that here a lot too, but sometimes the colors are more noticeable then. I love your daffodils – they do look good enough to eat!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Sheila. The grey has temporarily given way to heat and sun. And the daffodils have given way to the azaleas and the rhododendrons. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes. 😉

      Reply
      1. Wendy L. Macdonald

        I’m so glad to hear that. And blue is the blue ribbon of garden colour for many people too. A lovely surprise. You’ve brought back a sweet memory for me from one of my old gardens. Yes, those unexpected floral delights make it fun.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          🙂 Yes, every day in the garden there’s something new to discover, especially when, as happens in my garden, plants make up their own rules.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Of course! Although I would be dreadfully surprised if I did see a rabbit in my garden. However, one must always be prepared for the unexpected guest.

        3. Wendy L. Macdonald

          Rabbits, raccoons, deer, black bear, and a menagerie of birds and rodents; we’ve had them all. My favorite guest was an owl who I wish would return now that I have a camera which could capture a better shot than the blurred photograph I got on his/her first visit. 🙂 Don’t wish for rabbits as they nibble on beloved plants. But they make for fun photography.

        4. Gallivanta Post author

          Goodness that is a menagerie indeed. I was about to say nothing that exciting ever happens here but then I remembered the large briard sheep dog which bounded up the driveway on Saturday. She didn’t want any parsley. It was just a pit-stop. 😀 Hope the owl returns.

  6. lisadorenfest

    Ha! I still don’t have an answer to your question in the last post as to ‘does your life have a soundtrack’ but I can say that in my darker days in NYC before I found my dream my life did have a Saint-Saëns sound track feel to it. And now here he is in your beautifull video. Luckily, since I discovered and started living my passion, my life has popped more like the cherry blossoms at the video’s end. I will get back to you with what my sound track is today as soon as I figure it out. Love the spring blooms in color and black and white. Miss those flowers here in the tropics.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You are a life enthusiast, Britt. 😉 I also like seeing opposite seasons. Sometimes I become so involved in the fall depictions on northern hemisphere blogs that I often forget where I am. I will look up and out, and, for a moment, wonder why the garden isn’t wearing autumn robes! Smh! Such incidents usually mean it’s time to take a computer break. 😀

      Reply
  7. Sheri Lawrence de Grom

    Thank you for taking me on a walk in your spring garden. We can no longer guarantee our spring will consist of the colors you talked of at the top of your post and I also dearly love. Each year summer arrives sooner and is hotter than the one before. Summer also leaves later in the year and when winter does arrive, it’s harsh and wicked.
    My gardens were hurt this year from the extreme heat. Now I’m in a rush to prepare the beds for the winter and Tom has taken a down-turn.
    I’m researching for carefree plants still pleasing to the eye yet able to withstand the brutal heat. They are required to bloom at least part of the year – any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope your garden will have a chance to recuperate from the intensity of your summer heat. A favourite plant in my garden is Ceanothus Blue Sapphire. In this article the suggestion is to ‘make a blue border with Ceanothus ‘Blue Sapphire’, using such plants as annual honeywort, Cerinthe major, blue aquilegias, lavenders, perennial salvias, Lithodora ‘Grace Ward’ and, towards the rear, Dichroa ‘Blue Sapphires’, an evergreen hydrangea relative which flowers from spring to autumn.’ I have cerinthe major in my garden as well as aquilegias, and lavender. I have had salvias and Lithodora ‘Grace Ward’ but they weren’t as hardy as I expected them to be. http://liddlewonder.nz/schemedetail.php?plantid=747 Gazanias are good value, too. But I don’t know how well any of these plants would do under your extreme heat. 😦 Blessings to you and Tom.

      Reply
      1. Sheri de Grom

        Thanks for your wonderful suggestions. I’ve been working in the garden [when it’s cool enough preparing the soil for new designs and adding in additional nourishment, etc. I continue to have an amazing amount of color and texture considering the amount of heat we’ve had. I decided to stop watering about a month ago just to see what could and would survive and some of the plants have surprised me to no end.
        Thank you for the suggestions and will beginning looking up the plants I don’t already know this evening. I have lavender salivas by the front door and they are blooming beautifully at the present time. To give you an idea – their directions say full sun and I have them in full shade! I have several different colors of ganzias in the wildflower mix and they are of course going strong and wanting to take over the garden. I’ll dig up and move several mature plants to get them out of the sun. Both of my honeysuckles grew like crazy but couldn’t take the sun and never bloomed and one is a native. It was blooming beautifully until I moved it to the front yard! I’ve had large lavender gardens before and may do that again. I love the blues, lavenders, mauve, pink and so on – I’ve bought up plants as they went on end of season sale and looked awful and have been nursing them back to health. Thank you so much for adding your wisdom and knowledge to help me. Sheri

        Reply
  8. Tiny

    I love your poetic description of the spring colours, Gallivanta! And your flower arrangement ~ beautiful as always. The video, too, was “all spring” 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Dare I say “Great minds think alike”? Satie was very idiosyncratic, and from what I read in the link not inclined to spring cleaning or any cleaning at all. Wonder if he liked daffodils?

      Reply
  9. Steve Gingold

    Like you, I am always happy for Spring’s arrival, colorful or grey. It would never occur to me to shoot cherry blossoms in monochrome, but I enjoyed yours along with the piano. Also, like you, I would not eat our daffs. Actually, I think I have only eaten a flower, in the traditional flower sense, once…pansies in a salad.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My experience of flowers as food is that they are pretty rather than tasty, with the possible exception of borage which is both pretty and tasty. With the sun still hidden by grey skies, I guess I see the world through a grey filter at the moment. Hence spring in monochrome! But not for too much longer, I hope.

      Reply
  10. April

    I love how you described Spring with color, and that trip down the street lined with cherry blossoms…..beautiful. In my opinion, we have a lot of grey skies in the Spring and Summer due to thunderstorms. There are too many for me. When the sun does come out it is so humid that it feels better to just stay indoors.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I remember something like that re thunderstorms on a long ago visit to Lexington, Kentucky. Thunderstorms are infrequent in Christchurch. Which is just as well, because I don’t like them! What is your main flower in spring?

      Reply
        1. April

          We have a tree native to the South (I believe), called a Redbud–it probably has a scientific name but it has the most beautiful blooms. Kind of between a pink and purple. To me they are stunning.

  11. Juliet

    ‘Taking spring as it comes’: this sounds like a good philosophy! I couldn’t find the comments box, but clicked ’69 replies’ at the top, and voila, here I am.

    Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        Thank you, Juliet. I am glad you enjoyed the video. I had plenty of time to take the views I wanted. I was almost the only one viewing the blossom and the bulbs.

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And Juliet I am so glad you are here. I have been looking all over the house for your book “Celebrating the Southern Seasons” as I wanted to give another commenter an idea of a native spring in NZ. I can’t find your book and now think I lent it to my cousin! If you would like to I would love a link to any post of yours which mentions the ‘natural’ New Zealand spring.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Thank you for all the links, Juliet. I enjoyed them all. Today when I was out walking I noticed the kowhai were thick with deep golden blossom. Beautiful. 🙂

  12. clarepooley33

    I love your video! You have such a steady hand. The cherry trees are so lovely and especially wonderful when planted in a long avenue. I was aware of daffodils being poisonous – the mice don’t dig them up like they do crocus and tulip bulbs. I understand about grey and damp springs; we get them here too – which makes the rare bright sunny day all the more special.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sensible mice. 🙂 Yes, I think the damp and grey of spring is probably under-reported everywhere because of those brilliant spring days which lull us into forgetfulness of the less pleasant aspect of spring.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Compared to your rainfall, I really have nothing to complain about! The wind, though, has been screeching round the house today, but seems to be quieter now. I don’t know why Wellington gets all the ‘glory’ for being windy. ( Something to do with the extra wind from the Beehive perhaps???) There’s plenty of wild wind elsewhere in the country! More than once I have struggled to stand upright in central Christchurch -no I was not drunk!-, and I expect you struggle sometimes on your windswept coastline. :).

      Reply
  13. Cynthia Reyes

    Absolutely. Spring and Autumn – my two favourite seasons. (Though our summer this year was also really nice.) We just planted our daffodils, and my husband, who had hundreds of them at the other place, went and got some more. As we head into our cold months here, you must promise to post lots of pictures of daffodils and other pretty blooms, okay? I do NOT like winter.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, dear Cynthia, winter is such a hard time for you. Hugs! Hopefully, this winter you can sustain yourself with the thought of all the beautiful daffodils which will spring forth in your new garden. And because of their toxicity, you need not worry that little critters will devour them. Just a thought, did you bring a cutting of the wisteria to plant in the garden? 😉

      Reply
  14. Heather in Arles

    I think that a couple of years ago I did a post called “sometimes cloudy days are best” – and not just for taking beautiful photos such as you have done here but for everything!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I believe you did, Heather. And, indeed, I did hope that the cloud and drizzle would allow me to get a good photo of the blossom. It didn’t but I still think I did better than other times where I have tried to capture the blossom against a very contrasting blue sky. I hope you are being blessed with all the cloudy days you need. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Sheryl

    I’m enjoying autumn, but must admit that I’m slightly jealous that it’s spring where you are. 🙂 It’s fun to see the pictures in b&w and color. The b&w one really draws my attention to the lovely pitcher that you used as a vase – while I notice the flowers in the color one.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Of course, they are perfectly harmless, unless we decide to eat them. Fair enough really; if I were in danger of being picked or eaten I might develop some toxic defences. 😉

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, that aspect of tomatoes always troubles me a bit. How can one part of the plant be completely safe and the rest of it not, sort of thing. What if there is leakage between the parts. I know! totally silly thinking. I worry about rhubarb, too. Am I quite sure there’s no leaf remnant on the stalk etc etc. As you can see, it won’t be a plant that kills me. It will be my worries. 🙂

  16. thecontentedcrafter

    Bunches of daffodils are so wonderful and make me feel spring even when the weather has reverted to winter 🙂 Siddy is enjoying romping on the daffodil bank in his park every morning, even he stops to smell the flowers ………… Beautiful photos Gallivanta!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Siddy knows how to keep ( a) spring in his step! The daffodils were a freebie from a function which a friend attended. Daffodils are wonderful, free daffodils are even better. Keep warm.

      Reply
  17. Clanmother

    Thank you for sharing your shades of spring. We are in autumn and the leaves are turning that marvelous color before winter comes to bring rest. I love seasons for they remind me that change is always with us…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Tish. For spring :” Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
      Is hung with bloom along the bough,” but what did Housman write about your Shropshire autumn?

      Reply
      1. Tish Farrell

        Now that’s a leading question. I’m going to have to look now. Though on the other hand the whole tone of A Shropshire Lad is pretty autumnal – love and loss and death etc. He was rather a sad soul, I feel. But writing this I’ve just thought of a timely poem No. xxvii – Is my team ploughing. The ploughing season has just begun here – at least we saw the farmers at work in Derbshire where we’ve just spent a few days – flocks of seagulls following the tractors; soil looking like turned chocolate. V. atmospheric. I like autumn.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Is my team ploughing does seem very timely. I like it. I also like the image of soil looking like turned chocolate. Must be good rich soil. In Maori tradition, spring is the time of year for digging “Kōanga is the Māori word for spring (September to November). It includes the word ‘kō’, a digging implement: spring was the time for digging the soil.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/tawhirimatea-the-weather/page-2 Enjoy your autumn harvest. 🙂

  18. utesmile

    the sun is missing… the daffodils bring some beautiufl yellow in your house and you k=need to bring your own sunshine. The cherry blossom looks amazing almost like just snowy trees, so many blossoms, Super. Great video!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ute, the blossom looked very snow-like; in other years they have seemed very pink particularly on a sunny day. And, yes, it’s great to have sunshine in the form of daffodils. 🙂

      Reply
  19. Mrs. P

    So interesting to know about the overcast skies. I would not have imagined that…Are your fall seasons overcast too? What about summer? Curious people want to know! 😉 I dream of New Zealand as my fall back country…in case the US continues to spiral out of control. Beautiful daffodils!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Weather-wise, it would not be wise to have NZ as your fall back country. A lot of our weather is very wishy-washy, and very undecided. And it’s a lot colder than non-NZers expect it to be. We do have beautiful days here and there, all throughout the year. A while ago, some wit said the people who speak most highly of wonderful Christchurch are the ones who spend their summers in holiday homes at the top of the South Island and their winters in France or Italy. Of course that is an exaggeration but for those of us who are here, day in and day out, Christchurch weather is not always something to love.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Joanne. Fall is a splendid season. Every year I look at the Fall colours and wonder how they could possibly get any more beautiful, yet each Fall they seem to do just that.

      Reply
  20. knitnrun4sanity

    Spring is often grey but with little pops of surprising colour. It is odd to think of you in spring with us heading into autumn. Still sunny and I seasonally warm but the trees are turning, cookers are all over the ground and the nights are drawing in.

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ah, yes, good ol’ health and safety. 😦 It rules our lives but in NZ there are still 1.6 million accident injury claims each year, many of which occur in our own homes and gardens.

  21. Letizia

    It’s true, Spring is all about tenderness. In French there’s even a word for the green that happens at Springtime and it translates as tender green. As I write this, Autumn has finally started here in NY after a late summer, the sun is lower, hitting the autumn blooms just so.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That ‘just so’ is delightful. I have such wonderful memories of NY state autumn colours. Is the French word you refer to ‘vert tendre’ ? My mental image of spring is heavily influenced by British and European versions of spring ( think in particular Pissarro paintings), as are the spring plantings in Hagley Park. A native or pre-European New Zealand spring would be kowhai and kaka beak and clematis, for example. http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-plants/kowhai/ The native clematis which is flowering now is featured on my header.

      Reply
      1. Letizia

        I loved learning about the kowhai, thank you for the link! The flowers, at least the photos I saw, almost look like the bloom of a magnolia before they fully open.

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Because I want my parents to enjoy the videos I try to make them as restful as possible, and to give them plenty of time to take in everything. To soothe is my aim! The cherry trees are Prunus x yedoensis ( Yoshino cherry ) which is the same cherry you find at the Washington DC Tidal Basin.

      Reply
  22. shoreacres

    I had no idea daffodils are poisonous. On the other hand, I’ve never been tempted to eat one. I ate candied violets once, and have eaten yucca flowers, but in my view, flowers belong in the ground or in a vase. “Bread for the body, flowers for the soul,” they say, and there’s nothing more cheerful than a bouquet like yours. They last longer than a salad, too.

    The video’s lovely. The scenes remind me of spring in Mississippi for some reason. It may be the combination of trees and flowers. As for those gray days, they have their own appeal. And yesterday I came across the first ground fog of the fall — a sure sign of a changing season.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have not been tempted to eat daffodils either, But some people, for whatever reason, do try to eat them. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/shopping-and-consumer-news/11396076/Move-daffodils-to-stop-people-eating-them-shops-told.html In New Zealand, between 2003-2010, the national poison centre dealt with 84 daffodil incidents. I don’t have more recent statistics. Fog is lovely, if I am not lost in it or if it’s not holding up air traffic. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. The day I went to see the cherry blossoms I found a very grey and white scene, which made me wonder about daffodils in grey and white. Eating daffodils is a definite no no!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.