When I read This Green

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When I read This Green World for the first time I kept running outside to check things, and inside to call my Mother to exclaim over what I had just read. That sense of wonder is exactly what I love about this book–and the amazing facts. Then I lent the book to Mom and whenever I would stop in there would be a leaf and a magnifying glass on the counter, or a flower in a cup of water. . .
Sometimes you can find the book at ABE Books–where I got a copy to give to my brother. Right now I am reading Winter Botany by William Trelease and Nature in Winter by Donald Stokes. Not as lush a season but still interesting. More like a silver point drawing than oils. These two books do not have the beauty of writing that Platt’s does, they are more field guides.
Yesterday I was wandering about among the raised beds and found a Colchicum (‘Autumn Queen’) flowering! It had opened a while back–under a few feet of snow–but still 2 of the three flowers look quite good. That and the winter Hellebores are my flowers of the moment, but down the hill there are pussy willows beginning to open and the seed heads on the azaleas nearest the sunny side of the house are opening. So spring is on its way. (Another sure herald of that is the skunks out now at night!)

About the Author

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b/5aLocation: rural; just south of British Columbia/Idaho borderGeographic type: foot of Black & Clifty Mountains (foothills of Rockies–the Wet Columbia Mountains in BC climate- speak)Soil type:acid sand (glacial lake bed)/coniferous forestExperience level: intermediate/professionalParticular interests: fragrant & edible plants, hardy bulbs, cottage gardening, alpines, peonies, penstemons & other blue flowers, primulas, antique & species roses & iris; nocturnal flowers Also: owner of Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

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