Penstemmon in the gardenToday it was warm for February (upper 40’s) and breezy and I just had to get out into the garden and see what was going on. I skated across frozen ice patches and sloshed along through icy slush, so many places were opening up and hour by hour drifts of snow were disappearing. In spots the earth had actually thawed and was taking in the water while other places, the ground still frozen underneath, formed little lakes fed by the melting snow. I found so many things that were greening up, buds on bushes etc., but the most amazing was the penstemon (variety “Husker Red”). Its rosette of leaves, just coming out from under almost two feet of snow, looking strong and actually putting out new growth. I love this tough perennial! Definitely will get more this spring and will watch for seedlings too.

Penstemon gives a lot, the lush rosette of leaves ends up to be substantial and so attractive, tinged with red. It looks good in borders but the best is the blooms which are strong (they stand up to our many windy days here in Nebraska) and beautiful and last a long time, even in the heat. Just what I needed to see after the cold winter: green! It will be fun to look for more “signs of life” as this warm stretch continues — we’re expecting 50’s and maybe even low 60’s!

“From the slopes that were brown and barren,
The children of the sod,
The Spirit of Springtime rallies
At the touch of the breath of God.”

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