I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from a terrible case of spring fever. This year, March certainly came in like a lion and continues its ferocious growl with below-normal temperatures. Those wonderfully balmy days of February seem like a distant memory, and the “polar icecaps” that still stand majestically in Broadway Mall parking lot look as though they wish to stick around until the next Ice Age. Although the calendar says “Spring,” our current weather pattern would say otherwise, especially as I sit at my computer, bundled in two fleece shirts.
As I surveyed my property over the weekend, I scanned the area for signs of spring. I glanced beneath the junipers on the side of my home and noted a spot of color. Sunny, golden crocuses shone their faces up towards the light. Their deep amethyst cousins winked up at me from the opposite side of their bed. Here and there, tulip leaves sprouted through the ground, along with the beginnings of my husband’s “bleeding heart” bushes. Foliage had started on the honeysuckle bush beneath my daughter’s window, and tiny buds had even popped up on the forsythia bushes that line our driveway. As I noted the newness of the season in our yard, a plump robin plopped himself down on the lawn. Even the chilly temperatures and recent “Four-easter” couldn’t stop the heralds of spring from arriving.
One of the most famous forerunners of the spring season was the Hicks Flower and Garden Show, held from March 7 through March 24 at Hicks Nurseries in Westbury. While not actually located in Hicksville, the 160-year old nursery’s namesake, Isaac Hicks, was a family member of Valentine Hicks. As you may already know, Valentine Hicks was the man for whom our wonderful town was named. Valentine was also the second president of the Long Island Railroad. The nursery has been a part of the Long Island landscaping and gardening community for six generations, and has been a favorite stop for many, throughout the seasons.
My aunt always frequented the yearly flower and garden show, and suggested that my husband and I follow suit, as we share a love for all things related to gardening. The very first year that we attended the show, it was so crowded that we couldn’t find a place to park. Once we got indoors, however, we understood why.
Creative displays adorned the entire nursery, including each greenhouse on site. Rows of tulips in a variety of hues rolled across the tables, which brightened even the sourest of moods. The fragrance of vibrant hyacinths was heavenly and intoxicating as they stretched in their lowly pots. Gardening ideas, from waterfalls to strategically placed azaleas of various colors, induced a bit of spring fever among the participants. A photographer’s paradise, the Hicks Flower and Garden Show, at least for us, was truly a sight for all the senses.
This year’s show marked the 28th annual flower show, and Hicks Nurseries certainly did not disappoint. Each scene was rather idyllic, with bubbling birdbaths and colorful Impatiens that cut through grey skies cheerfully. A waterfall scene captured the attention of many, as did the display of beautiful orchids of many colors. Fruit trees, including fig and olive, stood at attention as patrons strolled through the aisles. It was around that time that I noted the display of brilliant white stephanotis on a nearby table. I only know this flower because my dad wore it as a boutonniere. As my husband and I made plans for our own wedding, I ordered my husband a small bouquet of the identical flower, as a tribute to my dad.
As the temperatures rise, many Hicksville residents will take to their gardens to begin the process of planting new life. Although Hicks Nurseries isn’t the only gardening shop out there, it certainly is one of the largest. The annual Flower Show is over for the year, but the displays will continue to delight customers for quite some time. It’s a perfect cure for the “grey day doldrums”, and it will definitely put you in the mood for beautiful spring days, filled with sunshine and the wonderful fragrances of the vernal equinox.