Spring Has Sprung!

Dear Friend,

I don’t know about where you are, but spring here has been mostly cold and grey and very wet. We’ve kept the heat on way longer than usual. About a week ago the temperature dropped down to freezing overnight and we woke up to frost – something we hardly saw over the winter as it was so mild.

My theory is that a nasty spring is payback for a gentle winter.

But things have changed. For the first time in weeks and weeks, it is sunny and warm and dry!  Thursday two unlikely events combined: it was a holiday (Ascension) and the weather was magnificent!

A convergence like this means, of course, that public spaces will be full to bursting as people come out of the woodwork and go to the parks. No one wants to miss the sun. People were everywhere: sitting in little bunches all over the grass; walking on the paths; waiting in line at the ice cream vans.

Husband and I chose to go further afield.  Someone at work recently told me about the  The Botanic Garden of Meise   just a mile or two outside of Brussels. I never knew it existed and wanted to try it out.

What a good choice that turned out to be. Even if you could hear highway traffic in the background, the place was calm and peaceful and you felt miles away from the city. We got there early and felt so young and carefree as most of the other visitors at that hour were senior citizens. But fear not, later in the day we began to feel our own age as families with young children arrived.

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Botanic Garden of Meise

For the most part, though, we felt we had the place to ourselves. We wandered around the paths, stopped on sunny benches, watched bees in a hive and just generally admired everything. There’s a café right by a little lake where we had coffee and lemonade and listened to geese arguing with each other. We saw some red squirrels, too, which tend to be so much more shy and retiring than the grey squirrels I’m used to.

We laughed at a few signs. One forbid rabbits to enter the herb garden and another cautioned us not to touch the fresh paint on the greenhouse. From the state of the paint, we estimated the sign to be about 20 years old.

It was a wonderful way to soak up some sun, learn something new (did you know that black and white pepper come from the same plant?) and do something different. It was definitely worth a visit and I suspect we’ll be going back.

 

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