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Spring Blossoms in Provence

by Emilie Johnson

Wild February almond blossoms

Spring in Provence is glorious. It is a region of endless groves of fruit trees - buds swelling and bursting in February, March and April. We have been in Provence for five springs now and the wonder never wears off.

February is a brutal month here in Provence; the winds and temperature seem to belie the place in almost all other moments. Even in February, though, Provence delivers brightness: the almond trees confer the first sign of the warmth of spring to come. Their blossoms seem to appear at the least likely moment. Then spring rushes in quickly, March feels balmy and April can even be hot. The blossoms come in a tumble - the apricots, the pears, the peach trees, the cherries, the plums and the apples. The vineyards and even the olive trees in their turn. It all starts with the February almonds though.

Almond blossoms with the Alpilles mountains in the distance

A local grove of fiery pink peach blossoms

Peach and apricot trees blossom about the same time in Provence: March. Peach blossoms are a thick pink flush. To our good fortune, our village is beatified with whole groves. The delicate fragrance of an apricot blossom is to die for and their flowers are equally lacy and exquisite: a soft, glowing pale pink. Their scent portends the delicacy to come…an apricot off the tree, warmed by the July sun, is like biting into blessed honey water.

 

Our cherry tree in full bloom

My very favorite fruit bloom in Provence is the cherry. When we decided to move to Provence and were house hunting, the first time we visited our house our cherry tree was in full bloom. The tree looked like this photo above...and we took it as a sign. When it is in bloom, we walk out in the morning to revel in its display. We all go to it at the end of the day to breathe in its air. The girls gather flowers from its hem and leave me 'bouquets' on my nightstand (a heap of wild daisies from the lawn). Like our love for Provence, we are wrapped up in wonder for our spring trees.

 

Getting a table set for an impromptu Provence apéro under the cherry tree

 

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