Sometimes when you live in San Diego, you don’t take notice of the change in seasons. It’s not all that obvious when we move from spring to summer, or summer to fall. We don’t see spring when the cherry blossoms bloom like in Washington D.C. So if the first day of spring this year got by you on the calendar last Sunday in San Diego, it’s understandable. But if you look, you will find new growth and flowers that only bloom this time of year.
Chances are though you know it’s spring from some undeniable internal signals. For one thing, we have more daylight. Exposure to natural light improves mood, sleep patterns, and productivity at work. You just plain feel better on a sunny day, don’t you? So even though it’s sunny year-round in San Diego, when we hit the spring equinox, we get even more sunshine and it’s like a booster shot.
The tradition of “spring cleaning” has its roots in this sense of renewal. If you’ve gotten an urge to clean out your closets and throw open the windows, it’s all tied to the idea of a new season and a new start. There are many spring cleaning rituals around the world. People of the Jewish faith incorporate physical cleaning during Passover along with their spiritual cleaning. When Christians observe Lent, this is also a spiritual cleaning process.
Meantime, halfway around the world in Asia, the Lunar New Year usually falls somewhat near the spring. In Thailand, people celebrate the two-day Songkran starting on April 13, and there are similar festivals in Laos and Cambodia. People give their houses a deep cleaning, and they clean any images of the Buddha in their homes. All of this cleanliness is supposed to bring blessings and good luck in the new year.
Closer to home, I love all our own spring holidays, starting with St. Patrick’s Day, moving to Easter and Mother’s Day. They are all about renewal and growth in their own way. Observe the surrounding hillsides and canyons. What native plants do you see in bloom right now?
Renewal comes to us at Good Earth Plant Company at this time of year too. Spring is the time of year when we begin so many new projects. And it’s time for our spring open house on May 6th between 1 and 5. We couldn’t be more excited about what is ahead for us.
The GreenScaped Buildings team has been asked to build a brand new 75-foot long living wall at the Hotel Del Coronado. I love the thought that visitors from all over the world will see this living wall as a part of this beautiful symbol of our region.
GreenScaped will also work on a project for Kaiser Hospital made up of seven living walls. I am especially happy to work with a healthcare facility that embraces the vital connection of nature and wellness. This is our second major project for a hospital following the award winning green roof at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
We are going to build two living walls for home developer Toll Brothers, and another interior living wall at ActivCare 4S Ranch (our fourth location), plus two living walls at the new Lincoln car dealership in Laguna. It might be the first living walls at any car dealer I know of. Someone prove me wrong on this if not. Finally, we are building another living wall for the Pirch kitchen, bath and home store chain. This time, it’s in the SOHO area of New York City.
So we welcome the longer, warm sunny days to let our new projects flourish for these clients and put all the positive effects of nature into play for them. We’ve already begun the growing-in process and can’t wait to get started installing them.
The arrival of spring gives everyone another opportunity to improve their health through the natural world around you. Maybe you can’t build a living wall or add one to your home or workplace, but everyone can enjoy gardening at even a small level like a window box of herbs or growing flowers in a planter. Spring gives you an opportunity to grow healthy food, connect with nature and improve your mood. Start a garden this spring and I promise, you will grow more than vegetables or flowers.
By the way, we are hiring! Who do you know that would like a part time job as a Horticultural Technician caring for plants throughout San Diego? Work independently, meet interesting people and be healthy. We average 5 miles walking each day. Fun!