This time of year, it starts to warm up in Santa Fe and thoughts turn to spring. Soon, the city will be collage of blooming plants. Aspens will begin budding, tulips and crocuses will appear, there will be a bit of forsythia and fruit and trees will flower.
The city is a mix of both native plants and those that were brought here by people who missed the colors of home. In our mostly stark landscape, spring blooms are a welcome diversion.
Santa Fe is a city of hidden gardens. People mostly choose Xeric plants, but sometimes people opt for thirstier plants. You’ll see a range that goes from tulips and poppies to cactus flowers, Russian Sage and later in the summer Maximilian Sunflowers.
The year-round Santa Fe Farmers’ Market moves back outside after months in their barn-like winter quarters. Growers will begin bringing greens and other early seasonal crops that have come out of the ground and not the greenhouse.
Restaurants begin serving al fresco and the prime spot in any eatery from posh to casual, becomes the outside tables under overhangs or colorful umbrellas to shade the high desert sun. Uggs are stored for the season and shorts and sandals appear on the streets.
Outside the city, as snow melts, the Rio Grande and the Rio Chama swell with spring run-off. Rafting season starts on both and fisherman take to local rivers and streams.
Lizards emerge from hibernation and sun themselves on rocks. They are cute and fast.
Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit Santa Fe. Daytime temperatures are usually in the 50s or 60s (and even 70s). The sun is usually out and it’s glorious. At night, temperatures drop into the 30s. Even into early may there may be snow. When the sun comes out the next day, the snow quickly disappears into the parched ground. Lodging rates (except for spring break times) are still at off-season levels and restaurant reservations are easier to obtain and museums and other local attractions aren’t yet crowded with travelers.
Spring is a special time in Santa Fe as the high, dry land comes into bloom. What is your favorite thing about spring in Santa Fe?
Nothing says spring like Easter. Santa Fe, originally named “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís” (The Royal City of the Holy Faith of San Francisco de Asis) by the Spaniards who founded it, is still a strongly Catholic city and Easter is a really important time in Northern, New Mexico. During Semana Santa (Holy Week) each year, tens of thousands of Pilgrims arrive at the small village of Chimayó, heading for it’s church, El Sanctuario de Chimayó. Read about the annual pilgrimage.
Northern New Mexico had a strong Penitente Tradition. Good Friday and the Penitentes in New Mexico tells a bit of the story.