The arrival of the vernal equinox—yes, it is officially spring—brings more cold and gray. Given the weather roller coaster we’ve been on for the last few weeks, I’m not surprised. In my neighborhood, few of the flowering trees and shrubs survived last week’s ice storm. The famous cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin are doing their best for the upcoming festival, but it’s being reported that 50 percent of the flowers succumbed to the cold. Nature is generous, though, and many spring plants that bloom later, like lilac, rhododendron, and azaleas, will soon make up for the losses. Even as winter leaves reluctantly, there is plenty of random beauty to be found. These bare wisteria vines outside the National Gallery create lines worthy of any of the venerated artists whose work is displayed inside. But the vines provide a bonus—as the weather warms up, they will erupt into clusters of lavender blooms. All is not lost!