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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

10 on the 10th: Getting Ready for Spring

An English spring garden, border with tulips, daffodils. London. Copyright: Is This Mutton
I get very excited about spring, and Easter: such promise-filled, joyous, colorful times of the year. So I was delighted to join Leslie from Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After.  to compare UK and US spring and Easter celebrations in a seasonal "10 questions on the 10th" post today.
Here are the questions:
1. How did you celebrate spring break/Easter as a child?
2. Do you spring clean?
3. What's spring weather like where you live?
4. How green is your thumb?
5. AC on or windows open?
6. How do you decorate for spring/Easter?
7. How do you get bathing suit/shorts/warm weather ready?
8. Is your closet arranged with just the current season's clothes?
9. What's your go-to spring uniform?
10. What outdoor activities do you enjoy most in the spring?

And here are my answers, one at a time.
A white Clematis Montana on a fence with white alliums in the foreground. London, UK. Copyright: Is This Mutton
1. How did you celebrate spring break/Easter as a child?
I went to Sunday School as a child, and loved it, so the Resurrection has always had a lot of significance (and far more poignancy to me than Christmas, which was just a calendar date to relieve the boredom of winter).  We have always had two bank holidays for Easter, Good Friday and Easter Monday. As a child, the main excitement was Easter eggs. I usually received around three or four:  these always included a chocolate buttons egg, (yay!) and a Smarties egg (boo).  Hot Cross Buns remain an Easter treat. I don't remember any special lunches or Easter egg hunts.

2. Do you spring clean?
Not as such. My mum did, obsessively. She would go into a frenzy of washing skirting boards and windows, cleaning behind the oven and sweeping out spiders from the garage.  There are a couple of things I do. When I get my clothes down from the loft, I sort through my summer and winter clothes and send a bag or two to the charity shop.  I might wash blankets before May.  (My gran and my mum had a saying: "Wash blankets in May, rue the day," which I still adhere to).  I like to clean the windows too and may have the carpets cleaned. But other than that, no special cleaning.

3. What's spring weather like where you live?
Spring officially starts here from the Equinox, when the clocks spring forward. But even now, I'm so thrilled to see the days extending, visibly.  Each week I look to see the time of sunrise every day. Today it was 6.30. In just five days' time, it will be 6.15. I love to see the days getting longer.

Our UK weather can be very mixed. But since climate warming, our winters - in London anyway - are more mild. We haven't had any snow this year. In winter we tend to get more rain and very stormy weather. March will hopefully be mild, with temperatures getting into double digits, and the sun gaining warmth. There's a saying - "April showers" - which is often very true! I won't be putting any tender plants in the garden until early May when the risk of frost is over.

4. How green is your thumb?
We refer to it as "green fingered" in the UK. Yes, it's my passion - all the garden photos here are mine! When I was a kid, my parents had a lovely garden and I would trail round after my dad watching him.  I didn't make my mark on a garden until we moved to this house a few years ago. The garden was completely transformed.

This was the garden in 2012 after we completed the first round of work: getting rid of leylandii trees which bordered the garden, and the dark and gloomy plants that struggled to grow under them.
A few weeks later with a new border created, an artificial lawn, two fruit trees planted, the garage painted and a new fence. 
This is the garden now  (July, a couple of years ago).
5. AC on or windows open?
Not many homes in the UK have AC, although with summers getting warmer, a lot of people are thinking about it.  We have central heating, which is usually turned on in early October through to March.  It can get unbearably hot in the summer and so all the windows will be open, except for those on the ground floor at night.

6. How do you decorate for spring/Easter?
Easter decorating is a fairly new thing here.  "Easter trees," which have been used in continental Europe for decades, arrived here a few years ago.  Mine is yellow and decorated with little sheep, glass birds and eggs.  I make a big splash for Easter lunch when the family comes round, and have lots of flowers on the table along with an Easter runner, wreath, napkins and another new arrival, Easter crackers.
Easter table decorations, UK
7. How do you get bathing suit/shorts/warm weather ready?
I spend some attention on my feet, giving myself a pedicure, buying a new nail polish in a pearl or pale color, and regularly applying Boots Foot Cream. I also start using fake tan on my legs.

8. Is your closet arranged with just the current season's clothes?
Yes, with the exception of a couple of summer favourites that I continue to wear in winter.  I don't have enough room to have all my clothes out.  I enjoy the ritual of the summer and winter clothes and footwear being put away.

9. What's your go-to spring uniform?
I'm not sure I have one! I wear ponchos or jackets in spring - it becomes too hot in summer - so there's a brief window of opportunity for those.

10. What outdoor activities do you enjoy most in the spring?
The gardening season officially starts at Easter when the garden centres get very busy.  Mine will start around Mother's Day (March 22) as I'll be doing to Plymouth to stay with Mum and we'll go to a garden centre or two. I have a garden notebook which I've been using since 2006, and around this time I will document the changes I plan to make  (moving plants, getting rid of poor performers, bringing in new ideas) and what I want to buy.

We also go out for more walks once the weather improves, usually locally in Epping Forest.

How is spring and Easter/Passover for you? Any particular traditions to share?

I'm back tomorrow with #WowOnWednesday. Do come and join me.

Sharing this post with Jacqui at Mummabstylish, Anna at Muttonstyle, High Latitude Style, Claire Justine #ShareAllLinkUp with Not Dressed as Lamb and #Linkup On The Edge at Shelbee on the Edge


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