I wish that Norwegian spring were more predictable, but it’s not. Before the end of March it is early to speak of the spring altogether – March is a winter month here, with a sudden snow and a biting freezing wind. Thanks to Instagram we have a daily reminder how gorgeous spring can be: there are first crocuses in Germany, and the blossoming trees in Paris and Vienna. While I decided to go check the forest for the first tiny sprouts last week – only to find there the rests of snow. Complaining is my old friend, but it doesn’t help me here, so I learn to reinvent myself and look for the ways to change my attitude. This year I learn not to wait for the spring, but to create it. Here are my tiny tricks so far.
I love fresh flowers. I used to see it as a waste of money because they wither, and I always said that I prefer those in pots (though never actually buying them either :)). But I came to see that the fresh flowers change the atmosphere of the room and my mood, and that is absolutely worth it. Seeing fresh flowers gives me such a joy and engages my senses, you look, smell and touch – it is really a sensually experience. So I try to buy myself some flowers, usually roses, and I love getting them as a present. In spring the tulips bring the air of freshness and coming spring into the house (and this pic with tulips got so many likes in my IG account, that I still wonder what was its secret ;)).
I have never had “green fingers”, as they say it in Norwegian, but I’ve always had this secret affection for plants. When I was a child I had several children books on flowers and berries, and a more serious book on botany – and I still remember my excitement when I was turning the pages with the drawings of plants. Imagine my joy when I got into the British museum in London and in the Enlightenment room found the collections of shells, herbariums and the books on botany that reminded me of my childhood. I was a little researcher in the true spirit of Enlightenment when I was a kid, I had to admit proudly and humbly.
I used to joke that the only plants that survive in my place are the cactuses, as I am not good to remember about watering and caring for the plants. But there always has been a secret dream of my own garden that I will fill with flowers from the early spring to the late autumn. This February when I was in Barcelona I was surprised and charmed by many plants that the locals set on their balconies and tiny terraces. And my secret dream has been rekindled. I am afraid to start a garden on my balcony in Oslo, because I don’t want it to freeze – but I really wanted to do some baby steps. So I bought a pot of daffodils that create the spring feeling at home, even if the outside doesn’t always match that (but it started to match more since then!). And I adore the small cactuses that are so hip and hipster now. I read somewhere that it is good to set the plants in your work space. And though I don’t have my proper work space yet, I make sure that the pot is placed close to my computer. So that whenever I look up, I feel like I am in a tiny garden of mine.
And as I dream about my own garden, I have a great opportunity of the botanical garden that is a walking distance from my home. Though I had to move 5 times in the past 5 years (one of the reasons I never thought of buying a plant), I was lucky to have all my new places close to the botanical garden. I would view it as my own garden of a forest and be a frequent visitor there. Now, with a new spring, there is a beginning of new life there, and it is so great to follow with this process.
Continuing the subject of gardens and plants and lifestyle tricks. Lately I have been listening to the podcasts by Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project ( I found out it is a great company during my breakfast :)). One of his guests was Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat. Pray. Love”, the book that is so dear to me. I liked the talk so much that I went on Youtube and found more of her talks and interviews, and I feel myself in such a good company watching those episodes. One of the interviews deals about her book “The signature of all things”, and while I was delighted to listen to it, it occurred to me that I had lately voiced the need for a fiction book. The thing is that all the books on my reading list now are non-fiction, either self-development, or lifestyle and psychology. But there is no good story to get myself lost in – and I love getting lost in the story. I am not easy to please, as I became very picky recently (I guess, I have read too many books in my life, or this is the echo of my literature degree :)). The mentioned book got me curious, the discussion was witty, and I trusted that the book can be witty too. And guess what, the book is about the botany! About a female scientist of botany, a spinster – that may sound weird to someone, but to me that sounds just perfect! I have just bought the book and plunged into it, so I will not write any review now (though already a book cover wakes in me a botany lover). Isn’t it magical how things happen in synchronicity?
Do you have your secret tricks to make the spring closer? Any garden lovers here?
P. S. The weather this week, as predictable as a wasp in a sugar rush 🙂