Visiting my local nursery really put a SPRING in my step. OK, cheezy pun. Forgive, please?
I really liked this bench - the color and shape are refreshingly un-generic and downright perky!

Although a bit cliche' at times, I still like bonsai, namely the blooming varieties and the violet-blue containers you can put them in. However, I am not much for the pot-bellied little mud figures with straggly beards that some people add as mini "yard-ornaments" to clutter up the bonsais. Seems kind of like an oriental version of the gnome, albeit in more muted hues. I'll pass.

Ok, I did not snap these because I considered them, well, errrr......attractive. Quite the contrary. Squirrels are a sort of long-running nemesis of mine, and actually paying money to acquire fake, plastic squirrels is a "beyond the ridiculous" thought for me. (M.S., if you happen to be reading, this is for you. Wink, wink.)

This huge bougainvillea standard would look SMASHING in a colorful pot.

Talk about texture and variety, the range of cacti and succulents out there amazes me. I think I would enjoy having a little collection at some point. Is this a sign I am approaching middle age?

I love wandering around a nursery, checking out the plants and all the outdoor landscaping accoutrements. Fires up the Spring fever.

This place had some eye-catching pots and those terracotta pedestal lanterns would look so cool at night with a big, fat candle placed inside. Even indooors, for that matter.

Orchids are always a great value for color and longevity.

Fountains fascinate me. This place had a vast array and the sounds of the water movement always has a calming affect on me. I thought of Courtney when I spotted the pagoda fountain.

The containers and pot department held an endless variety of styles and colors. Many of the pots pictured here are manufactured in Germany and I also noticed some from the same maker at my local SuperTarget. The colors are fabulous!

More pots..........and the delightful crunch of pea-gravel under my feet.

and yet more.......

Even though we don't exactly have four distinct seasons here in South Florida, there is a palpable difference, even though it may be slight. The days grow longer, the Ocean starts to warm up, certain plants and trees start blooming again. I do seem to get a certain, milder version of Spring fever and my local nursery/garden center is a place I love to visit.
I know, I know, I almost feel guilty for not having had to brave a brutally cold Winter or shovel any snow. There is a part of me, perhaps a holdover from growing up in a harsh climate, that gets excited when Valentine's day has passed and all of the Spring-y Easter merchandise is put out on the store shelves. It's reminiscient of the thrill of feeling the strengthening sun on your skin or inhaling the heavenly scent of hyacinths and crocuses blooming. The same kind of thrill my brother gets when pitchers report to Spring Training and the first game is broadcast. A promise that a long, harsh Winter will soon come to an end. Now, in my case, it may be some kind of internal, seasonal clock that is set, regardless of the fact that I now reside in a tropical climate and never have to wear boots or gloves. Something happens to me. I somehow have a renewed interest in savoring meals outside, shopping for flowers and plants and getting my hands in the dirt again. For all of you who have to wait still longer, I take off my hat to you.
Ye have endured and ye SHALL be rewarded! Spring IS just around the corner!