I grew up in a house where lavender, tulips and gardenias were frequent visitors. The fragrance alone transports me back to childhood summers and motherly hugs.
Tulips often appeared on dining room tables for my Mom’s birthdays and Mother’s Day brunch. These seasonal springtime flowers are her favourite.
Five years ago, we went to Terre Blue Lavender Farm to celebrate my Mom’s 65th amongst the rows of fragrant lavender. A local rendition of a trip to Provence.
This year, we took her to TASC Tulip Farm to celebrate her 70th. A local rendition of a trip to Amsterdam.
Provence and Amsterdam still remain close to our hearts, but how lucky we are to live in a province that naturally grows these same floras.
The smile and excitement on my Mom’s face when we arrived at the tulip farm showed me a glimpse of childlike happiness.
Her dream of being placed in a wide field of tulips came true.
Two million tulips in multicolour rows surrounded us beyond the eye can see. Reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, and whites. A rainbow at our feet.
A bucket in our hand, we each got to pick 10 of these varietals to bring home.
The weather held up despite the passing grey clouds. No rain, no wind. A calm early-May air, and pockets of sunshine occasionally kissing the uniform stripes of rainbow-like tulips. Despite the grey skies, the tulips’ vibrant colours reigned the day.
I affectionately remember this day in the following ways:
- Seeing my Mom happy.
- Spending time with my family doing a fun activity together.
- The feeling of floating in a sea of tulips and taking in all the colours.
- Seeing rows of cherry blossom trees on a quiet country farm.
- A springtime road trip outside the city.
Two hours spent at the farm worked up our appetite, and we headed to Taris on the Water in Welland where we had a lovely lunch. With bellies full and a trunk full of tulips, we headed back home.
Back in my city apartment, an array of reds, purples and fuchsias were trimmed, rinsed and nourished with cold water.
“Just this morning, I picked these tulips from the ground”, I happily reflected as I placed my vases by the window ledge with a smile.
A physical souvenir of the most perfect day, staying with me a little while longer. Stretching time with tulips, and my family.
Happy Birthday, Mom.