Saturday, March 2, 2013

The first rain lily of spring

Three days before this lovely rain lily (Zephyranthes atamasca) emerged, we received 1.8" of rain. Hence the common name...

These lovely native plants are in the amaryllis family and mostly grow in damp ditches. We often see them along roadsides because that's where people and damp ditches most frequently come in close contact.

A couple of years ago, I initiated a rescue of some of these lilies along a roadside near my house. The road was slated to be widened and these lovelies would be buried. I applied to county for a permit, but it took so long to receive permission that by the time I could get a crew together for the rescue, with permit in hand, the ditch had been mowed and the lilies were no longer obvious. I had paced out the the location, so we had somewhere to start, but we were shooting in the dark.  We did find some bulbs and later we planted in local parks and wild lands. 
You can read about it here: Rescuing Rain Lilies.

Here is a photo of the last spring for these roadside rain lilies before the construction began.
I use this as my screensaver graphic on my computer as a reminder of how important it is to be an activist.
The weather is cold again this weekend, so maybe our cool-weather veggies will make it to maturity so we can harvest them before the heat of summer sets in. I hope your gardens are growing well.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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