I don’t know how close we are to breaking the record snowfall for our area, but I am unilaterally declaring this the snowiest February of the last 30 years! It’s wet snow, too, a spring snow before spring starts! It’s a big pain in the back, shoveling and stuff, but it’s going to be a green, wildflower-filled season soon. I can’t complain. At least not out loud. Not here in public.
The birds are hungry, almost desperate, crowding around the feeder and circling in the air like jumbo jets backed up over O’Hare. Feeding them can be an almost full time job, but that’s okay. What else are we going to do on such a snowy day?
This last picture is taken from the kitchen window, looking out at the Rocky Mountain juniper that grows in the rock garden. I love that tree, it asks for nothing and gives back evergreen foliage, shelter for the animals and birds, and a lovely graceful form. The boughs bend gracefully in the heavy snow and don’t break. Junipers get a bad rap, but they’re one of the most drought tolerant, lovely, resilient natives you can grow.
The snow from the last storm is melting, and I can’t help but think about spring. Flowers in the genus Townsendia (common name: Easter Daisy) bloom before any other Colorado wildflower, and usher in the gorgeousness that is spring on the prairie. In the greenhouse we have hundreds of townsendias, of various species, germinating, at this very moment. If you haven’t grown them before, you need to plant some. Most are only three or four inches tall and wide, and are great for a trough, a rock garden, or a xeriscape–any native garden should include them! Are you into fairy gardens or other miniature landscapes? Townsendias are the plants for you. Here are some pictures to let you know what you’ve been missing!
Photograph by Cindy Nelson-Nold
Another picture by Cindy Nelson-Nold
Here’s a picture of the newborn townsendias; it’s hard to believe these will flower yet this year, but they will! They seem to grow quickly from seed to flowering plant, and then, as if they hadn’t already been generous enough, they will seed into your garden and make a colony of daisies for next spring. Townsendias are pollinated by native bees.
Townsendia parryi x eximia
Thanks to Bob Nold for letting me use Cindy’s pictures on our website.