Spring Smiles: Wild And Wonderful Ways To Savor The New Season

Spring renewal.

Goodbye winter. Spring 2021 (officially arriving March 20) already feels happier this year — hello COVID-19 vaccines! Most Americans are still safely staying close to home, yet looking for life-affirming, spirit-lifting ideas to put a leap in their steps, as well as to soothe and nurture wanderlust. Here, encouraging ways to embrace the new season.

Pretty in pink.

The freshest move to add a splash of seasonal verve to your home is with bulb-bursting blooms: crocuses, daffodils and tulips. Support local flower markets and neighborhood florists, when you can. For online orders extraordinaire, Harry & David’s Bulb of the Month Club delivers pre-planted bulbs in an attractive rustic container and promises stellar lush arrangements (photo below).


Bulb of the Month Club

Smile at the eye-catching, frilly-edged cut stems of parrot tulips — in choices of mint, saffron and rococo colors (all so pretty!) — from Flowerbx. Wow yourself — or a special someone — by indulging in an impressive abundance of 100 white long-stemmed tulips from Global Rose. The lovely pink ranunculus bunches from Blooms by the Box symbolize the tenderness of spring. And High Camp’s elegant gardenias — grown year-round at its farm in a coastal valley of California — exude an intoxicating scent that is transportive. Check out High Camp’s bestselling Vine & Bloom Box, which nestles 30 gardenias.

Gardenia bliss.

Hundreds of U.S. public gardens, especially in springtime, delight and inspire. If you live near one, let this be the year to wander amid wondrous outdoor beauty. (See Feel Happier — Easy Ways to Gaze at America’s Most Gorgeous Spring Gardens.) Some favorites: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Biltmore Estate, Chicago Botanic Garden, New York Botanical Garden and Longwood Gardens. Even just a few computer clicks through their websites reveal satisfying virtual connections — floral videos, drone flyovers and walking tours powered by Google.

Very cherry: Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.

Be tickled pink by flowering cherry blossom trees, which also produce white flowers — a sure sign of spring’s rebirth. During the next several weeks, an extravagance of floral fanfare will unfurl. Scores of different cherry tree hybrids and species are getting ready right now to soon go bold.

Cherry blossom petals blanket a footpath in New York City’s Central Park.

At some locations, full cherry blossom tree canopies extend above large expanses — for example, along rivers, lakes or roadways. These sumptuous ornamental odes to spring can feel transformative and are a feast for the eyes. At smaller destinations, the pink- and white-frocked arbors grace a specialized city park or memorial, but the effects are nonetheless powerful.

Among the best U.S. cherry blossom sightings: Boston’s Charles River Esplanade; Macon, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey’s Branch Brook Park; New York City’s Central Park, New York Botanical Garden (video above) and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Portland, Oregon’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Japanese Garden; San Diego’s Balboa Park Japanese Friendship Garden; Traverse City, Michigan; and Washington, DC, which offers a spectacular view of our nation’s capital with its flowering-tree splendor, stretching along the Tidal Basin — including a virtual bloom countdown watch with 24/7 webcam and a 3.3-mile-long walking tour.

Fetching peonies.

Jump-start spring’s positive emotions by incorporating stylish floral themes into your home design with Pottery Barn’s Peony Leaves Removable Wall Decal (photo above). Consider, too, distinctive hanging wall art that both calms and energizes, such as x-ray photographer Albert Koetsier’s stunning images printed on EAD’s high-resolution tempered art glass, by Latitude Run at Wayfair (photo below).


Plump your spring mindset with a decorative pillow, such as the tulip buttermilk motif available from Neiman Marcus. Down feather filled, it is ideal for a comfy spring afternoon snooze. Sweet dreams.

Gardenia is a classic fragrance treat. Light up your evenings with Diptyque’s aromatic gardenia candle, a high-quality vegetable-and-paraffin wax mix with cotton wick. This chic Paris company is a top connoisseur of home furnishings and self-care products.

Longleaf pine bloom.

Reach farther afield to participate in spring’s growth by donating to The Nature Conservancy. Its Plant a Billion Trees campaign promotes reforestation and bolsters trees’ many assets: cleaning air, taming climate change and providing sanctuary for thousands of animal and plant species. With plantings in key arboreal areas of Brazil, China, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania and the U.S., this organization’s global impact is profound. To discover where the conservancy focuses its greening of America — which has some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth — go to this map. One domestic quest is to restore Virginia’s longleaf pine forests, which once had a storied history during the English settlement of America in 1607. Another goal is to revive white pine and other long-lived conifers of Minnesota’s Northwoods in partnership with the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.

Spring fling: Life is looking up.

April is National Kite Month. Turn spring’s blustery breezes into long-tailed fun. No matter your level of experience, there are countless kite styles to suit your skill. Beginners can enjoy an easy-to-get-aloft boost with the 42-inch-wingspan, sturdy frame, rainbow kite sold by aGreatLife. For those with increased expertise, opt for the energizing Prism Synapse Dual-Line Parafoil Kite by Prism Kite Technology, which comes in three sizes that range from a 53-inch wingspan to a 78.5-inch wingspan. Advanced kite enthusiasts often prefer extra creative and complicated challenges, such as the 34-by-36-inch Ghost Ship Kite by Haptic Lab, which is hand-crafted in four-tier sails by artisans in Bali. Watching this gracious sailing-ship kite dance across a blue sky brings a whole new meaning to launching a ship. Ahoy matey! Spring 2021 is in the air.

Based in NYC, Manske has been an on-staff editor at many top magazines, as well as a freelance journalist. She has been called a trend-spotter, culture connoisseur and