Season change in Mexico City brings beautiful flowers along Reforma. It may not be as nice as the natural changing color of the leaves, or that first powdery snow, but it’s something I very much appreciate. A sign of change, a sign of closure and a sign of new beginnings all with simple seasonal flowers.
So in case you don’t know, I am a born and raised Metro-Detroiter. What I love most about Michigan are the four seasons– not so much the long winters, but I appreciate the option it’s there if I fancy it. Moving to Mexico, I knew I’d never have to witness a terrible winter ever again in my life, but to be honest, seeing the same temperatures year-round kind of makes me lose track with, well everything…. it’s really December already? Without being able to tell the cycle of seasons, how will I ever have closure?!
Before I came to Mexico, I sold my snow boots for bikinis and de-icing spray for suntan mist. The first 10 months living in Puerto Vallarta I was able to tell a season change because come June, there were nothing but rain and miserable heat. There was no denying that summer had come in Vallarta.
Now, living in Mexico City, it’s pretty much one season year round — the perfect fall day. The sun shines bright in the afternoon and then drops cool and crisp at night. But now that it’s Christmas, I’m asking when did summer end, fall pass by and winter begin? I must have missed it because I am still not layering my socks and putting on my mittens.
As I pondered nostalgically while putting up my Christmas tree this year, it came to mind that there is actually one way to tell the seasons in Mexico City– the flowers! Paseo de la Reforma, one of Mexico City’s main avenues, always has fresh potted flowers coinciding with whatever season it is.
I first arrived to live in Mexico City during Ocotber of last year, where I was welcomed with a near two-mile section of Reforma boasting a rich orange-y yellow. Every autumn, city gardeners plant orange marigolds, a flower that represents Dia de los Muertos. The marigolds, known here in Mexico as cempasuchil, are actually native to Mexico and are much part of the holiday season as a pumpkin is to Halloween. At first I thought nothing of it, but then first week of December, I realized all the cempsuachils were gone and they had been replaced with beautiful, voluptuous poinsettias! The gardeners swap out the vibrant orange for a deep red when the Christmas season comes. The poinsettias, also native to Mexico, are known as Noche Buenas and over a half-million them are planted every season! When this season ends mid-February, the gardeners return to Reforma tear out the poinsettias and plant amber succulents that will last until it’s marigold season again.
This three-season change along Reforma has been happening since 2002 and costs the government about $3 million each year! It may not be as nice as the natural changing color of the leaves, or that first powdery snow, but it’s something I very much appreciate. A sign of change, a sign of closure and a sign of new beginnings all with simple seasonal flowers.