The promise of spring

“Ha!” I can hear many of you saying as you sit blanketed under snow today. Or is it a “Bah!” that you’re calling out to my promising the return of spring.

Spring seems an unreal probability in this wintry season. Even here in the south, we got a little sneeze of snow last night. Not enough to cover the world with its cleansing white cover, but enough to get the local kids excited about a school delay and enough to glue the little kid still inside me to the windows as the snow drifted down last night. I dream of a proper snow day while many of you are ready for it to just. go. away. already.

I will admit to wishing for warmer weather. too. This has been an unusually cold winter, and if it’s going to be this cold, I’d prefer snow to accompany it. While I’m busy wishing for more snow or warmer weather or both – after all, it could be warmer here and still snow, too – I thought I’d share some photos from my recent visit to San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden with you.

Some of the trees in the gardens are bare, but there are cherry blossoms, too. And nothing promises spring to me as much as a cherry blossom. So enjoy these photos and a cup of something warm. I promise: spring is on its way, but for some of us, it can’t get here soon enough.

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Nothing promises spring to me like a cherry blossom

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Someone is having fun training these shrubs (trees?) to grow like this.

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The koi and the trees’ reflections mesmerized me in equal measure.

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More reflections, thanks to a clear, still day

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I love the shape of this gnarled tree and am thankful for winter’s opportunity to see the flinging shape of its branches.

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A garden of dwarf trees, while a pagoda looms over the garden

A quick note about this garden of dwarf trees. Sometimes even trees get caught up in wars, and these dwarf trees are no exception. The Hagiwara family that cared for this garden from 1895 to 1942 was, according to the plaque nearby, “forced to relocate” during World War II. I guess that’s the genteel way of describing the internment of Japanese Americans during that war. The Hagiwara family left these trees in the care of a landscape architect Samuel Newson, who later sold the collection to Hugh Fraser. Fraser’s wife gave the collection back to the tea garden in her will, and they’ve been back here – flourishing – for almost 50 years.

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One last picture of these hopeful koi (I didn’t feed them, but they hoped nonetheless.)

What are the signals or promises that you look for to prove that spring will return?

5 thoughts on “The promise of spring

  1. Pingback: Preparing for Spring » Well Blogger Me

  2. I usually read your blog on my phone and sometimes in the dark while nursing my son. The reflective photographs appear almost surreal. My phone simply cannot contain their beauty and complexity. It seems like you had an amazing trip. I hope I get to see the garden and the trees from last week in person. It may be a silly question, but I was wondering if you had tea during your visit.

    • Laura — it was a wonderful trip, and I do hope you get to visit both places someday. I’m sure you’d love them both! Your tea question isn’t silly at all! We had limited time left before we had to leave for the airport. There was a lovely tea house there, and I would have enjoyed sitting and savor in some tea, but alas, that will have to be for another time.

    • The Japanese Tea Garden is a relaxing spot inside a frenetic city! I loved the time we got to spend wandering through the garden. Thanks for stopping by to wander through the garden, too.

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