Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reformed Plant Snatcher

If you're anything like me, a spring hike makes you covetous of the delicate woodland flowers that are blooming along the trail. As a kid I used to trek into the forest and dig up flowers and ferns and transplant them into my yard. Sword ferns, bleeding hearts, trillium, fawn lilies, all submitted to my trowel. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I first heard that digging up wild plants was illegal. I was incredulous, "What!? Why!?" The rebel that I was, I continued my plant-snatching ways, but I was more clandestine about the whole operation.

Hand over my heart, I have reformed and have left my lawless ways behind me, but I still have an abiding love for the beautiful plants and flowers that have adorned many of the happy places of my life. Luckily, I can buy these same plants—legally—from the Audubon Society during their annual Native Plant Sale. And you can too, the sale is this weekend and they have thousands of plants, many that are hard to find like, trillium, fawn lily, wild ginger, camas, iris, woodland strawberry, oxalis, nine-bark, evergreen huckleberry, red currant, Indian plum trees, ferns, inside-out flowers...

To make amends shady past, I also volunteer at the nursery once a month all year. If you buy a plant this weekend, it is likely that I've either potted, pruned, weeded, hauled—or in some way put a fingerprint on it. But don't let that deter you. The sales goes all weekend, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Audubon Society of Portland.  If you missed the sale, no worries, there are a few available in front of the main building almost all year.

BTW - If you want a trillium, go early, they usually sell out the first day...

Here is a preview of some of the plants that were on the move for the sale, when I was working last Sunday.

Dutchman's Breeches

Bleeding Heart


Wild Ginger

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