Winter is almost over, though in most of the country it seems to be getting worse before it gets better. Florida, however, is starting to blossom. This is actually one of my favorite times of year. Just when you have had enough of Winter and are starting to wonder if Spring will ever come, things start to change in Florida.
It starts with Citrus Season. There are a few months throughout the year that certain varieties of citrus fruit are in season, but January and early February are when the most variety of citrus as at its peak. How wonderful that when most of the United States is at its coldest, Florida sends its sunshine in the form of sweet, juicy citrus fruit.
As we continue to flip flop between warm and cold in the final Winter weeks, a sign of hope quickly goes into full bloom before giving way. The lovely azalea. During most the year the azalea plant appears as a full shrub, nothing fancy. But February rolls around and suddenly that plain green bush explodes into color. My community has a nice history surrounding the azalea plant. As the community was being incorporated and settled, the founders made a deal with azalea farmers to ensure the homes and properties were full of beautiful azalea plants. They are the first sign of Spring and I always get excited when they start to bloom.
The final sign that Spring is on its way comes in a very sweet form, the Florida strawberry. Bright, red and juicy, Florida strawberries cannot be beat, especially Plant City strawberries! And to celebrate the season the best way possible the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival is 10 days of the best strawberry shortcake you’ll ever have, other yummy strawberry creations, crazy carnival food and rides, agricultural displays, and headline country music stars. Read about my visit to last year’s festival here.
After all these wonderful signs of Spring, Florida usually battles out one last blast of Winter in March – usually when everyone is on Spring Break. But, we have it so much better than our neighbors in the Northeast so it would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage of the sweet life we live here in Florida.