One of my favorite places to go in the winter around the Twin Cities is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Park Zoo. I would often take the boys there a little more frequently when we were all at home. It doesn't happen much now that we are all in school, but we had Monday off for Washington's Birthday, so we headed over in the afternoon.
The boys love the zoo, of course. Even in the middle of winter, there is plenty to see. Even a few minutes in the small tropical rainforest is nice and warming.
But the conservatory is where it's at--especially on the coldest of days. Under the glass dome, it remains quite warm. The Fern Room has it's unique appeal. The North Garden has appealing scents and sights as it features plants that bear fruit or are used for spices. But I love the Sunken Garden where each the flowers change each season. The bright blooms are quite cheerful.
The flowers are a hope-filled reminder of what is to come in the midst of winter--that there is still the promise of spring and the growth of new life again. Sometimes--especially in February in Minnesota--we need that hope.
I tend not to plant an abundance of flowers in my garden. They're not as practical as vegetables and herbs. Put sometimes practicality needs to take a backseat to beauty. Sometimes in the bleakest moments of life we need the hope of beauty as well as of springtime to come.