The gray sky clinging to Boise like a plastic grocery sack seemed distant Friday at Edwards Greenhouse.
More than 200 people passed through the greenhouse on Sand Creek Street off West Hill Road to visit its new slice of spring, inside a 70-degree pop-up garden.
White blossoms sprouted from pear and plum trees. Strings of canary-yellow honeysuckle accented the red flowers and green plants. Grass was thick and emerald green.
Kathy Peugh watched as her 4-year old granddaughter, Evelyn Mitchell, played barefoot on the lawn with Elin Diddle, 5. Peugh said the garden offered a brief respite from winter, one she planned to take again.
We came to see something green and look at the flowers and hope the inversion goes away some day, Peugh said.
Friday was the grand opening of the garden, which is free to visitors during business hours. Employee Anju Lucas came up with the idea last January.
It was a really bleak hole of a day, when the landscape looked black and white and totally depressed, Lucas said. I was walking here, and I envisioned this.
Third-generation owner Garnette Edwards said only a few shoppers typically come through the greenhouse most January days. The parking lot was packed Friday. Parked cars lined the adjacent street, and the checkout line went about 12 deep. Statesman gardening columnist and author Margaret Lauterbach was there to sign books.
Edwards said she hopes the garden becomes a draw like the greenhouses annual Christmas event, which drew about 1,500 people this year to see Santa Claus and buy poinsettias.
This may be the first annual garden, Edwards said. Usually with these kinds of things, the appeal builds up over time.
The garden will be open until Valentines Day. Edwards said the new venue will make it a little easier to get up in the morning as she waits for spring to come to Boise.
I completely underestimated the effect that it would have on me, she said. It is amazing what some green grass and a fountain and a park bench can do for you.
Zach Kyle: 377-6464, Twitter: @IDS_zachkyle