Enchanted April

“That enchantment that I lightly took out of the lovely April is for ever.” Leonie Adams

April is one of my favourite months! Spring feels so lovely these days when the flowers are blooming and nature is showing off all its fresh greenery. And probably because it’s my birthday on its’ last day.

How does one describe spring? It’s not that simple and only words wouldn’t do it justice, I suppose. So why not trying it this time sense by sense? Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, knowing and especially wonder are spring’s supporting players.

Let’s take a closer look to our senses to savour spring…

Spring is the welcome-back season. And don’t you also want to embrace every blossoming branch?

Or hug a tree with its fresh green unfolding leaves

or put your nose deeply into the flowers of the lilacs?

How would you describe the scent of these fragrant lilacs? I would say it’s thick, sensual, intoxicating and universally adored. What’s your favourite color of lilacs?

Of course not all the lilacs scent equally. White lilacs tend to be the most fragrant. One of our lilacs seems to have some white flowers too this year, a funny surprise of nature!

Another scent is the one from the soil, warmed by the sun. It’s deep, rich and earthy. It makes me want to get down on my hands and knees, gather a fistful and inhale. I realised how much I have missed feeling the earth between my fingers during the winter months. I hugely enjoy working in the veggie garden on these April days.

Spring is the time for therapeutic weeding and seed planting. As a gardener I can really feel the benefits of working in the soil. Studies show that soil contains a bacterium called Mycobacterium bacchae, which has been shown to act as a natural antidepressant, stimulating serotonin production that can help boost feelings of relaxation.

Beside the advantages of being out in the fresh air, working in the garden, with hands in the soil has many health-giving benefits. Especially now, in this periode of corona-quarantine, it’s so comforting.

Of course, not every one has a garden, but even sowing some flower seeds in tiny pots can be helpful. Just try starting with something simple like sunflowers or sweet peas. Or buy some lovely flowers and plant them in flower pots to brighten up your terrace or windowsill.

For a gardener, the smell of warming earth is a promise of good things to come. The first leaves of the peas and radishes are growing well and hopefully within some weeks we will have the first tasteful harvest on our plate.

Another scent is the one of the delicate bluebells. It’s not a very strong fragrance, but it becomes very noticeable when walking through a woodland covered in bluebells.

I recently came across this tiny woodland with pink (Spanish) bluebells during a bicycle trip around my city and couldn’t be more happier! It’s a true delight for all my senses!

I was quite enchanted when being surrounded by so much beauty and delicacy. As I was wandering through this tiny wood with dappled sunlight kissing the flowers and their scent filling the air, it’s truly nature at its best.

Let’s talk a little about the sense of taste now. Young leaves are unfolding and looking fresh and green now. Many plants contain a high dose of medicinal benefits in this early stage of growing. Time to harvest them to add to my homemade tea blends. I’ve already been collecting hawthorn leaves and flowers, lemon balm and blackcurrant leaves from my garden to dry. Strawberry and raspberry leaves are on my list for the coming week.

I’m really happy to pick fresh leaves and the first flowers such as daisies and marigold to make my daily teas right now. What a varied range of delicious flavors!

And what would April be without a rhubarb pie? I’ve tried a new recipe and we all liked it very much! I couldn’t resist decorating the pie with elderflower and lilac flowers. A treat for the eye and the mouth!

Another loveliness of April is the increasing light, a happy feast for the eyes and mood! In the evening the setting sun is casting shadows on the walls inside our home. And the fragrance of the lilacs is lingering in the air… April is enchanting indeed!

May you all enjoy these last days of April with all your senses! May your days be filled with little moments of joy even though the circumstances are different than we’re used to.

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