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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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Happy spring from your urban plant researchers.

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Grilled sandwich with green herb filling

As I’ve mentioned, spring has felt massively delayed to many Berliners this year. Maybe our expectations have been warped by global warming, but it feels like we’ve been waiting, shivering at near-zero temperatures, on the brink of spring for ages. We’ve watched reports on TV about Germany’s beloved spring crop, white asparagus, whose harvest has been delayed for more than four weeks by the cold rain. Same for my favorites, bright pink rhubarb and Bärlauch, the tender wild garlic greens that Berliners forage in city parks, which both have been nowhere to be seen… until this week!

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Snow is still on the ground a week after Easter. Most Berliners are busy complaining about the total absence of spring, but my neighbor Herr Mischke has taken matters into his own hands. On the mountain of old snow in front of his bookshop, Atlantis, he’s throwing this spring’s first garden party on the icy peak.

Geografische Buchhandlung Atlantis is an independent bookshop ‘for reading travelers and traveling readers,’ with maps, travel guides, and general interest books (mostly in German). Karl-Marx-Allee 98, Berlin-Friedrichshain.

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Paper tulip construction kit

“Make your own sunshine,” Sylee titled the blog post on Berlin Reified featuring her photos of this make-your-own tulips kit, made here in Berlin. Yes, we must make our own sunshine here in the gray city at the moment, holding our breaths, waiting for spring to come and bring us the real thing!

Photo by Sylee Gore, Berlin Reified 

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I was already planning to celebrate the recent appearance of this year’s first snowdrops with a post of some sort. Then I found out that my friend Eric Larson, manager of Yale’s Marsh Botanical Garden, introduces this little white early bird of a flower in the latest video he’s hosted for an internet project called GardenClips.

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The first crocus I’ve seen this year. There were snowdrops too. Spring is near. Can’t wait.

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Many seedlings at open window

Not all urban plants sprout up uninvited on the mean sidewalks of the city. Indeed, in Berlin, planting the balcony is a spring ritual for many. Those without balconies, like myself, have adopted bits of land in community gardens. It’s still too early for many plants to be planted outdoors, but seedlings are being started in apartments around the city.

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chives on table

So many chives! Although we had not cared for, planted or even visited our community garden plot until yesterday, we arrived to find a ridiculous amount of lush chives to harvest. Now in their fifth year, our plants are apparently robust enough to take care of themselves and provide a hands-off first spring crop for us to enjoy.

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Blossoming tree under streetlight at night

Today’s springtime urban plant beauty was captured at nighttime, by Sarah Parker, in a Home Depot parking lot near Washington, D.C. I’ve always found blossoming spring trees to be most beautiful at night, glowing under the streetlights, but have never gotten a good shot of them. I’m so glad Sarah captured this sight for us all to enjoy. It’s so beautiful that I’ll leave my usual worries about light pollution and plant insomnia aside. You can check out more photos on Sarah’s Statigram page. Have a great spring weekend, everyone!

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