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

In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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