Coping with Spring Envy

On the weekend, I FaceTimed with our youngest daughter, who currently lives in the UK. She was telling me about her life there. You know. Hopes, dreams, fears. But I was eager to get on to the important stuff.

“I’ll bet you have daffodils.”

“What?” She sounded confused by my non-sequitur.

“Daffodils. I’ll bet they’re blooming now. Or about to bloom. And maybe snowdrops, too?”

“I don’t… um…”

“Take a picture of them for me? Post it on Instagram?” I was trying not to sound too desperate – or pathetic. But then, I’m in Toronto. It’s February 8th. And I’m suffering from an uncomfortable case of Spring Envy.

My snowdrops on February 8, 2017. Multiply that brown stuff around them by a billion.

This is the springiest I can hope for in my garden right now. And, let me tell you, I was thrilled to find them! Thrilled, I say. At the moment, “spring colour” amounts to various shades of brown. Lots and lots (and lots) of brown.

Okay, it isn’t technically spring yet. But I follow a lot of gardeners on social media. Many of them live in warmer or milder climes – though, in the early months of 2017, some have had the bad luck to unexpectedly get our weather.

But, usually, by this time, I’ve already spent weeks being tortured by Camellias. Camellias! In winter! Can you hear me sobbing, just a bit?

For reference, this is a Camellia. Yes, you are allowed to be outraged by the unfairness of it all.

Spring Envy is a particular and pernicious form of Zone Envy. It’s not just that those other folks can grow things that I can’t grow. It’s that they can grow them NOW, in that seemingly endless nowhere timezone between non-winter and the long, long wait for spring.

Are you a sufferer? How do you cope? Please tell. While you’re thinking, enjoy these little reminders of what that season is all about. Or will be. Someday.


    1. Loree, I might have been exaggerating a wee bit. But I hope she does notice. Even more, I hope she does post pics for me on Instagram. (I’ll take anything!)

  1. It’s a tough time for a gardener in Toronto right now so I commiserate completely! I see similar pictures of blooming wintersweet, plums, and, yes, camellias posted by others too and I die a little inside.

    Brown is the predominant colour in my gardens as well. I can take this “winter interest” thing so far….

    1. Paul, I’ve been enjoying the beautiful blossom pics you’ve been sharing from your Flickr site recently. Just what we need.

      1. Thanks Helen, seriously, who doesn’t enjoy seeing cherry blossoms right now? Outside of Robarts Library (“Fort Book”) every April/May, of all places.

        1. I’ll have to look for it, and add it to my places to catch spring arriving. Embarrassing as it is to admit, I have *yet* to make it over to High Park at cherry blossom time.

  2. This is truly a bleak midwinter, even tho it is mild in TO. One year when I was away from home during spring I asked my adult daughter to take photos of my early blooming tulips that I was missing! I was actually in France where I saw huge blooming camellia bushes and blooming calla lilies in late April. omg.

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