Top ten signs that Spring has sprung.
The weather is getting warmer, the sun is coming out and the days are getting longer. The gardens are buzzing with bees and awash with vibrant colours, it can only mean one thing. Spring has sprung! Here are 10 things to look forward to in springtime.
The daffodils are in full swing and brightening up gardens and park lands across the country. Did you know that daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans and are the national flower of Wales? Daffodils are said to symbolise friendship but also new beginnings. They are one of the first signs of Spring and are also strongly associated with Easter because of this reason. A field full of daffodils like the one below can bloom for up to 50 years, so plant some bulbs in Autumn and enjoy the cheerful flowers for half a century.
Frogspawn and tadpoles
Spring is the perfect time to go pond dipping and to teach children about lifecycles. Go to your local pond or river and look for the tell-tale sign of frogspawn and toad spawn. Keep visiting over the coming weeks and you will gradually see the jelly like eggs hatch into wiggly tadpoles. Maybe you could collect a couple of tadpoles to take home (please don’t take too many) and watch the transformation from tadpoles to froglets (top tip keep the water clean and replace water with rainwater or pondwater to keep the oxygen levels consistent). Then release the froglets back into the pond where hopefully they continue to become little frogs.
Keep your eyes peeled for other pond mates like newts and dragonflies, they are such fun to spot.
The evenings are getting lighter
You will start to notice that the sun is setting later in the day and travelling to and from work becomes a much more pleasant experience. Team sports may be played outside in natural light in the evening and family barbecues can happen way into the evening. On the flip side, parents with young children may struggle to keep to bedtimes with sunlight pouring into bedrooms so spring is definitely the time to invest in some blackout blinds.
Foraging for wild garlic
It’s a fresh, bright day and you go for a family walk in the woods. What’s that you can smell? A slight oniony aroma. It’s likely you have found some wild garlic. Lucky you, not only does it smell delicious, it tastes delicious too and best of all in most places, you can forage some for free. Please check the rules of the woods where you are as some don’t allow foraging but if they do remember the foraging rules of only picking from areas that have a plentiful supply and only collect a small amount for personal use. Never completely strip an area as this could damage the species and deny animals or another forager the chance to collect.
If you are lucky to collect some, try making wild garlic pesto.
Carpets of Bluebells
There is nothing more joyous than taking a stroll in the woods and coming across a blanket of bluebells. Did you know that over half of the world’s iconic wildflowers are grown in the UK and that they are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, so please do not be tempted to pick any and bring them home.
Return of the swifts
Keen birdwatchers eagerly await the return of the swifts to the UK in late spring. These noisy birds arrive late April, early May and stay only long enough to breed. Once breeding season is over they begin their long migration down to Africa to spend their winters. These graceful birds are sadly in decline, they need two things essentially: a safe place to nest and plenty to eat. You can help the swift population by putting up a swift nest box, installing a swift brick, growing wildflowers or putting in a mini pond. You can also help the RSPB by recording your sightings of nesting swifts on their Swiftmapper.
Hot cross buns and easter egg hunts
Easter is round the corner and children can hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of Easter Egg hunts and warm buttered hot cross buns. Often there are local organised Easter egg hunts up and down the country that children can partake in, but we like to do our own hunt in the garden (or house if its raining). Whilst my children are big fans of the chocolate eggs, I personally prefer the Good Friday tradition of eating a hot cross bun or two. Some believe if you share a hot cross bun with somebody that your friendship will prosper over the following year.
If there’s one thing my family loves most about spring it is the sight of springy little lambs frolicking on the fields. We are lucky to live near some fields where lambs and their mums play happily during the spring months so we can watch them any time, but we also like to visit the local farms where they often host lambing weekends during the lambing season. There is something magical (if not a little messy) about witnessing a lamb being born. It is so incredible to see and sometimes there are tractor rides and sheep shearing to watch too. NB this is not a suitable activity for pregnant ladies.
Blossom on the trees
Is there a cheerier sight than seeing the pink or white blossoms on the trees? The magnolia trees bloom for such an intense short period of time, the cherry blossoms shed a carpet of pink and the horse chestnut trees have their own tree lanterns that look like candles from a distance. I find the tree blossoms just as beautiful as garden flowers and the fruit trees give promise of bountiful harvests to come.
Putting away the big coats
The weather is warmer and it is time to banish the big coats, hats and scarves for another year and bring out the lightweight windbreakers, jean jackets and rain coats (it’s still UK weather after all). The winter boots are replaced with sandals and flip flops and the old legs may get an outing maybe for the first time this year. All this points to one thing, summer is on its way.
Spring is a time for spring cleaning, decluttering and sorting out your space and minds. Here at TCFC, we have several storage solutions for helping you on your spring cleaning mission.