Rosy Doings in the Russian River Valley

A bloom-filled nursery gears up for its petal-packed spring.

LION'S SHARE: Do roses get the lion's share of love, attention, and honor when it comes to spring-themed odes and sonnets and plays and ballads? We don't have a rose-o-meter on hand, to measure a cultural product's sheer rose-a-tude, but we're pretty sure that the flower is up there -- way, way up there -- as far as frequent mentions. Shakespeare went to the rose's garden for inspiration, and just about every other nature-entranced bard to follow. And with good reason: The rose is often called the queen of the garden. It's instantly recognizable, and nameable, even if the labeling the amaryllis and the delphinium may occasionally stump us. And the smell? It's up there, in icono-scent land, with coffee, grass, and ocean. So spending a springtime Saturday among a profusion of roses ("profusion" and "roses," by the by, are old-school sentence buddies) seems a happy and peaceful thing to do. You can do it in a public garden, your own garden, or you can head up to rose central, aka the Russian River Rose Company, which has a full bouquet of rosy happenings ahead.

APRIL AND MAY... positively brim with petal-rich doings. In fact, every weekend has something going, from April 12 and 13 (that's irises and early blooming roses) to May 3 and 4 (think May Day Festival) and the following weekend, which is the bustling and popular Mother's Day to-do. Workshops and wanderings among the rose bushes are both popular, and, yep, perfume is also a centerpiece to the Healdsburg plot. (Perfume Rose Harvest Tours are, in fact, a frequent thing around the grounds.) Should you take your mom there for her big day? Sure. Should you go there on your own, to think poetic thoughts and sniff the superstar flowers? Yes. Do you need a dose of spring right quick? Head north and bask in the beauty. ("Bask," of course, is another go-to rose word, so remember if it you're inspired to pen odes while there.)

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