Nurseries? I love visiting new nurseries. Always I enter a new one, hoping that it’s a good as nurseries visited in the past (one, in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, for instance, that I will never forget). I’m the kid in the candy shop in nurseries, as in good hardware stores, and in benched dog shows.
These last several years have changed me. I now look, search for native plants, those not heavily hybridized. In the nurseries of Pennsylvania (Sylvania Natives the exception), I always, always expect that just about every plant I see is from some far away place, as in tropical (a not much used word nowadays) Central or South America, or at least the Great Plains of the USA or the habitat of the very southwest, say New Mexico.
Walks with Petra in next door Frick Park were a combination of pleasure and sadness. The sadness was the realization that, by my reconnaissance, maybe 70% of the greenery there was alien.
When Angela and her friends led me to Lynx Prairie Reserve, a private wildlife reserve in Adams County, very, very southern Ohio, I entered, and shortly stood there, Awestruck! There, right there were several Coneflowers!! Native, resident and luxuriant!!! Purple coneflower, I would guess. Not found only many many state lines to the west, but right there in this rare, closely watched Ohio prairie habitat.
Great Spangled Fritillaries came and went, constantly, as did other butterflies. Busy times at the nectar Bar.
Angela may remember how they had to patiently pause, while Boy Blue Eyes stood there, enraptured!
They were strong, deeply hued and magnificent. Doesn’t take much to ignite me, Huh?