Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dreaming of Bluebells

One of the best amenities of our city (Rochester, MN) is a network of bicycle trails connecting all parts of the community. Many of them run through woodland areas and along creeks - you don't even realize how close you are to civilization when you are biking them. In the spring, some of the trails are truly spectacular, winding through swaths of Virginia bluebells, trout lilies, Dutchmans's breeches, and many other wildflowers. (I took these photos last spring.)
When I come to the drifts of Virginia bluebells(Mertensia virginica) my heart soars. Since moving to Squash Blossom Farm I have imagined looking onto a sea of bluebells beneath the deciduous windbreak trees (mostly hackberries and maples) on the west side of the house. I just discovered that Prairie Moon Nursery, a local source of native plants, sells the seed for Virginia Bluebells and many of my other favorite wildflowers at a very affordable $2 for a packet of almost 100 seeds. I just figured out my order - which will go in tomorrow because most of the seeds must be "cold moist stratified" for 60 days before sowing in the spring.

Now I have visions of Virginia bluebells, Bloodroot, Blazing Star, Wild Geranium, and Bittersweet dancing through my head... These seeds sound kind of tricky; I welcome advice from you experienced wildflower-seed-sowers.

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