Spring is here in Big Bear. Despite overnight temperatures still dipping into the 30’s, the evidence of the season change is everywhere. Daffodils are up, some have already faded; the same with tulips. The flowering plums have exploded on my street. My redbud tree is next; their seemingly electric violet– colored buds are swelling.

It’s a season burgeoning with hope. Those bulbs we planted last season did come to life. The forsythia are yellow enough to make one squint, and the early apple blossoms activate the taste buds at the thought of the fresh crunch, or the eventual warm pie, or apple butter. Those plants I was convinced had died during our cold, wet winter were, in fact just storing up energy for this display. My personal favorites are the landscaping I can eat. Many of the perennials are already up: rhubarb, currents, oregano, chokecherry, elderberry, arugula, and swelling buds which will become grape vines.

Spring in Big Bear is reassuring. The cycle of life continues. The colors are amazing, and it’s sheer joy to be outside. The planter’s mantra of planting after Mother’s Day is upon us. While we still need to keep an eye on overnight temperatures, it should be okay to start veggies, perennial flowers, and annuals soon. Next week we’ll talk about picking out appropriate shrubs.

Brian Hood is a Master Gardener, nurseryman, and landscaper. He has lived, and grown plants in Big Bear for nearly 30 years. You can reach him at hoodgrowersbigbear@gmail.com and follow him at hoodgrowers on Facebook, and hoodgrowersbigbear on Instagram.