Listening for Spring from the Parrot’s Beak


It’s too early to hear it, and until this week we’ve had no real reason to miss it, but when those icy winds started wailing again, I realized that whatever faint whisper of spring had sounded in my ear was gone. Our traditional January thaw took place for much of the first half of the month, so it would be greedy to expect anything like that now. Despite this, the heart longs for that glorious time of the year when we turn the corner from winter. It’s quite a way off, but today marks one month of winter done. We are a third of the way there, and the days are getting longer.

In celebration of that mini-milestone, here are a few spring-hued flowers that stood pretty sentinel in the lobby of the Taj Hotel on my last visit to Boston. These are parrot tulips, in cream and chartreuse – the simplicity of the color scheme given frilly life by the architectural form of the flower petals. I’ve never grown these myself – they always seemed more suited to cut-flower schemes, and in a yard as limited as ours there is simply no room for such an extravagance. Besides, they’re just the slightest bit too fancy for my taste, which makes them perfectly suited for an elegantly old-school hotel lobby.

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