Spring forward

With the tantalizing promise of spring in the air (and, we hope, summer just around the corner), we’ve corralled a host of ideas to welcome the new season as the mercury’s vertiginous ascent continues (hopefully) apace. From footwear to room scenting, from puzzles to placemats, we’ve got you covered.

by Colin and Justin

These boots were made for walking

As the weather improves, we love hiking around our beloved Drag Lake, but when it comes to the relevant footwear, we’re super fussy. Aye, we’ve been known to spend literally hours in shoe shops driving sales staff mad as we appraise every option with diligent care.

It’s important: when it comes to long treks, being suitably shod is crucial. That’s why we love On, whose toffee-toned Cloudridge Mocca offering not only looks rugged and appealing, but boasts stellar utility chops into the sure-footed bargain.

Swiss engineered to conquer ever changing terrain, the boots’ hiking specific lower reaches are engineered to support the rolling motion of feet. The manufacturer maintains that every step feels lighter, a sensation which lets you continue running just a lil’ while longer.

$269.99 | On-Running.com

Give me shelter

Why wait for summer, when you can enjoy an outdoor experience right now with a pop-up tent with a difference? Domes, over the last two years, have become more popular than ever – as dining rooms and outdoor seating areas – being that they allow you to be outside with protection from the weather.

Offering comfy accommodation for up to seven adults, this 12-foot dome by Adoren could serve as a stylish conservatory, a fun play area, a simple greenhouse, or as sheltered dining gazebo. Smart, huh?

$1,460 | Amazon.ca

Wax works

The Fresh Air scented candle from Crate and Barrel is an artisanal beauty that will suffuse the air with the fresh, clean scent of spring breezes. Presented in a ceramic vessel, the nine-ounce, hand-poured soy blend wax is fragranced with floral notes and sweet clover. Once your candle has burned away (in around 52 hours) the two-toned vessel within which it’s contained can be used as a vase, planter or catch-all.

$29.95 | CrateAndBarrel.ca

Road map to comfort

Cartology seldom looked this good, nor felt as comfy. This cozy pillow features a map of Haliburton County, circa 1944, perfect for your cottage couch or to take back to the city as a reminder of your dreamy, northern existence. Measuring 20 by 20 inches, the cotton cover is filled with 100 per cent duck down and printed locally, in Minden.

$49.99 | UpRiverTrading.com

Gurgle jug

Didn’t everyone’s mum have one of these retro gems, proudly displayed for all to see? A traditional springtime gift, this noisy fella produces a slooshing, gurgling sound when filled with water and rocked backwards and forwards. Crafted from durable stoneware, the ample vessel holds up to one litre and measures just shy of 10 inches. Use for drinks or flower display.

$49.99 | Bigleyshoes.com

Fact or fiction?

The Jackalope: an intriguing combo of a jackrabbit and antelope, the Frankenstein, we suppose, of the bunny kingdom. Rumored to hang about cowboy campfires, it’s a fascinating creature, often shy, but most commonly seen during the springtime calendar. But be careful, they’re known to be vicious.

You can now buy a breed specific hunting licence, but the paperwork is only viable between midnight and 2 a.m. on June 31. The Jackalope has appeared in literature, poems, TV shows, video games and even a fascinating mockumentary. Measuring 31 by 41 inches, bag your crossbreed trophy at The Cutter’s Edge in Huntsville.

$469.99 | TheCuttersEdge.com

You’re booked

If we’ve pursued one pastime more than any other during COVID, it’s reading books. Hundreds (literally) of ’em. From crime thrillers to biopics, and from classic literature to travel tomes, we’ve gone (by our own admission) a little crazy. Now, as spring dawns and we attempt to pursue a greater sense of order at the cottage, organising our wordy pile has become an obsession. Consequently, bookends such as these – crafted as they are from solid agate, dyed and polished to reveal naturally occurring patterned rings – have been super useful. Each piece is subtly one of a kind and would bring jewel-toned beauty to bookshelves, desks and consoles everywhere.

 $51 each | WestElm.ca

Butter me up

In colder rooms, butter seems to stay solid forever. But as the sun warms up, plus ça change. This observed, we’ll grab any chance we can to keep our favourite spread (lightly salted, thank you very much) fresh and clean, and this Le Creuset butter dish more than hits the mark. Straddling modern and retro, it’s glazed artichoke green and sufficiently sized to accommodate a hefty 454gr block of butter. Decorative yet functional, the covered dish easily transfers from refrigerator to countertop for cooking, or directly to the table for serving. Stain and chip resistant, the dish will also help protect against odor absorption for a fresher tasting spread.

$65 | CrateAndBarrel.ca

Sign of the times

A road trip wouldn’t be complete without the lowly road sign. Occasionally comedic, these cautionary sentinels help plan your route. And as travel starts to open up, they couldn’t be more pertinent. Whether a charging moose, snowmobiles on the sidewalk, or humans walking with canoes (over their heads), danger takes many different forms in Haliburton County.

We’re avid puzzlers, so this jigsaw appeals no end. Stunningly photographed and designed by Michael Bainbridge, the tabletop passtime is reproduced in vivid colour and mounted on genuine Eska board.

$26 and $30 | The Occurrence.ca

The final straw

We love entertaining, and love dressing tables to impress. For us, the ultimate tablescapes are those beset with texture, so anything with raffia, linen or wicker is a sure-fire winner. This touchy feely placemat is fashioned from naturally woven straw and makes a lovely statement. As spring dawns, and home entertaining rejoins the social agenda, this lovely product is sure to please.

From $15.69 | The Home Holiday at Etsy.com

Giant lily of the valley

In the city, our ability to raise flowers is somewhat limited by issues of scale, being that we have only a small windswept terrace upon which to tempt bloom. But at the cottage, things are entirely different. With lots of outside space, we try to be as adventurous as possible, and anything we can rear with an aromatic quotient is an added benefit.

One of our favourite flowers is lily of the valley: we love its gentle, sweet smell. So imagine our excitement when we discovered this giant version, which can be mail ordered and sent directly to your door.

According to the growers, spring is the proper planting time for a hardy botanical such as this. Find out more about Convallaria majalis Bordeaux by visiting Breck’s Bulbs online.

$49.99 for five | BrecksBulbs.ca

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