At the end of February and beginning of March, it is still wintertime in Russia. There is a lot of snow, and the temperature stays around 5–10 degrees below zero. People wait impatiently for the arrival of spring. In the black-and-white wintry landscape, they feel the lack of bright colors and imagine a warm spring sun and early bloomers. Luckily, if you happen to be in Moscow at that time, there is a chance to have a rehearsal of spring. Each year, between 23 February and 10 March, we can all enjoy the Spring Rehearsal, an annual exhibition of spring flowers in Moscow’s Aptekarsky Ogorod.
Entering the Spring Rehearsal exhibition from the snowy street, you are carried away by a symphony of fragrances and rave of colors. You are surrounded by 10,000 spring flowers. Together with well-known narcissuses, crocuses, hyacinths and lilies of the valley, there are some rare plants like sugarbushes, Bird of paradise flower or Persian buttercup.
The main flower of the exhibition is a tulip. Dozens of tulip varieties please the eyes with their colors and forms: some look like peonies and others like roses, waterlilies or roaring flames. Here, you can see the newest as well as the most fashionable and stylish varieties of tulips - for example, world’s blackest tulips "the Queen of the Night" or whimsically-shaped "Parrot tulips". Tulips have different fragrances, and you can feel subtle smells of watermelon, apple or caramel.
Not only flowers but also flowering shrubs participate in the Spring Rehearsal as well. You can enjoy lilac, forsythia, peach, and magnolia. Against the wintry landscape seen through the windows of the greenhouse, these flowering shrubs look especially inspiring.
To continue enjoying the festival of flowers, you can visit a nearby tropical greenhouse. Variety of orchids hide among the palms and other tropical trees. They are not so bright and colorful as spring flowers, but very interesting though. There are more than 30 rare types of orchids here, including the first man-made nearly pure black orchid "Fredclarkeara After Dark" and one of the most expensive in the world "Gold of Kinabalu Orchid".
Spring will definitely come soon, but while waiting for its arrival in Russia, we can enjoy the Spring Rehearsal in Moscow’s Aptekarsky Ogorod. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the exhibition is open till 1 am. You can also participate in a free lottery and win a big bouquet of flowers. Bouquets of spring flowers are also given for free to the visitors at the end of the last day of the exhibition.
Cover photo © credits to Victoria Derzhavina
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