Thoughts of spring and flowers as temps dip below zero



Fran Ostendorf, EditorSeveral of my recent columns have involved the weather. It’s been a tough winter. And the relentless snow and cold and its accompanying ice aren’t letting up yet, so bear with me.

The flower show last weekend was a little breath of spring. When I heard that the annual Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show was scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 20, I couldn’t wait. In my mind, I could smell the flowers in the Convention Center. They ran an ad in The Voice. It positively screamed spring with its yellows and greens and a few flowers scattered around.

I know it seems awfully early to think about flowers, especially with all this snow covering our lawns and gardens, but now’s the time to start planning. Those attending the flower show were certainly in the mood. Cellphone cameras were out; people were taking notes and discussing the displays. And it looked as if the lectures and demonstrations were well attended.

I have to admit, I’m a wannabe gardener. I really want to plan carefully and tend to my garden, and I have the best of intentions. But my follow-through just isn’t there. I start out with enthusiasm in the spring, picking flowers and vegetables to add to the existing perennials. Getting everything in the ground is a struggle that involves the whole family. If the weeds take hold, it’s all over. Out of control. I must say I do like fresh-picked veggies. But a garden does not grow on the best of intentions.

My husband really got the bug last summer, planting lots of perennial wildflowers in the back of our yard last summer.

But I just couldn’t keep up with the beds under my watch. Now I could blame it on lack of time due to this job. But the follow-through issues were there long before I signed on as editor of The Voice. And The Voice takes a break in July. So I have no excuses. I’m going to try again this year. I’ll give you an update after the July break as to whether or not I conquered the garden (or it conquered me).

If you haven’t started thinking about the garden, our next issue should get you going. It’s our annual spring home and garden issue. And, it’s really not too early to start planning.

I’m hoping that  our articles and advertisers will get you dreaming about a better, more beautiful or productive yard or garden.

Before you know it spring will be here. As of this issue, just 21 days till spring. (Hard to believe, isn’t it?)

And not too long after that, it’ll be time for Pesach.

Does your family have a particular Pesach tradition that you treasure? Perhaps it’s a Seder routine that brings family near and far to your house year after year. Perhaps it’s something that you remember from your childhood that brings a smile to your face just thinking about it. We’d like to hear about your traditions. What makes Pesach particularly special in your family?

Please send me an email at Or, put it on paper and mail it to me at The Jewish Voice, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906. Don’t wait! Our Pesach paper follows the home and garden issue.

Think spring!