Signs of Life

Until a few weeks ago, the nursery was not a very hopeful place. The shrubs and trees looked like sticks, the perennials had gone underground, the grasses were straw-like. But now, definite, if subtle, signs of Life offer a natural balm for any discouragement. But tromping through the nursery, I was not seeking Life–I was just scavenging for plants that looked Alive-Enough to sell at the sale this Saturday. But looking in detail at the plants calmed me and turned worry into appreciation.

White Fawn Lily’s (Erythronium oregonum) single mottled leaf twists open through the surface of the soil. Little by little, day by day, now pausing to let a few very cold days pass, Great Camas (Cammassia leichtlinii), Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), Big-Leaf Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus), Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) and Scouler’s Corydalis (Corydalis scouleri) emerge from the earth.

New leaves begin to swell and open on bare branches: a few Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) have tiny leaves, evidence that their spindly little gray twigs actually contain the juice of life. Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) as always is way ahead of the game. The big ones in the woods are sprouting blossoms, and all the Indian Plums in their nursery pots are sprouting leaves at least. And a few blooms!

White Fawn Lily-ErythroniumOreganum

White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum)

IMGP4357CamassiaLeichtlinii at TH
Great Camas (Cammassia leichtlinii)
Aquilegia Formosa

Western Columbine (Aquilegia Formosa)

Dicentra formosa3

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa)

Scouler's Corydalis

Scouler’s Corydalis (Corydalis scouleri)

 

 

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