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From Winter Gloom to Spring Blooms

I spent a significant amount of my youth in the Midwest, where flowers, not calendars, were my barometers for spring.

When I saw the yellow daffodils begin to sprout, I knew spring was nearly here. Next the apricot tree started blooming, and by the time the fragrant lilacs made their brief but triumphant appearance, I knew warm weather was definitely here to stay, at least for a few months.

My mother would mark the arrival of spring by bringing flowers inside. Toward the end of a long, cold, gray Midwest winter, nothing brightened our home like pink tulips, yellow daffodils or a mixed bouquet. When we had an early spring, she’d mix store-bought bouquets with a few stems from our yard for stunning results.

Finally, no spring welcome was complete without a potted Easter lily for the holiday.

Today I continue to welcome spring inside with gorgeous lush blooms. Lacking good soil and a green thumb, I now rely solely on my local store for beautiful spring flowers to brighten my house. So while I can’t add flowers from the yard, I personalize arrangements in other ways.

Here are a few tips that I’ve cultivated over the years to make the most of showcasing those flowers:

  • Divide a bouquet into single stems or single arrangements of just three or four stems and place throughout the house for a pleasant pop of color in each room.
  • Use unexpected containers – mugs, oversized cups, pitchers, cordial glasses, tin cans or silver mint-julep cups.
  • Place the same bloom or different flowers in the same color in mismatched containers and group them together.

My parents now live in the Mid–Atlantic, so the blooms in my mother’s yard are slightly different than what I grew up with. I’m headed there in a few days and hope the timing is right for dogwood blossoms.

I look forward to seeing how she has personalized her store-bought bouquet with whatever is currently blooming outside of her door, and of course, I’m sure there is already a potted Easter lily on the table waiting for next weekend’s celebration.

No matter what is (or isn’t!) growing in your yard, you can find spring favorites like tulips, orchids and mixed bouquets at your local Whole Foods Market. Look for the Whole Trade® Guarantee to find flowers that are as responsible as they are gorgeous.

What are your favorite spring flowers? Do you have any tips for showing them off in your home?

Originally published in March, 2012.