|The "out there" of my weedy garden in mid-March.|
|A month later, and there are still skeletons, now less obvious by virtue of the emergence of foliage and bulbs.|
|Lewisia 'Sunset Strain' consists of a variety of colors.|
Which brings me to a new self-realization: I grow plants in an ever-increasing number of pots in order to avoid dealing with the weeds in the ground.
Wow! Sometimes over-analyzing brings on some shocking revelations! Now I know why I've been able to ignore the weeds in my garden with only a modicum of guilt. I've got so many pots to care for on my patio, so there are fewer reasons to go "out there" into the depths of the garden.
There are other reasons to grow plants in pots. I buy at least one Lewisia cotyledon each spring, and this year am growing the 'Sunset Strain'. I plant it in a pot now, no longer willing to see it melt before my eyes when the heat and humidity come to stay. Thanks to my neighbor Lesley, I went on my first plant buying foray early in the season and was able to find a plant that hadn't yet started to bloom.
|The orangy buds of Lewisia 'Sunset Strain' open pinky-peach.|
According to American Beauties Native Plants, the seed strain of this North American native was developed at Inshriach Alpine Nursery in the Highlands of Scotland.
A different species of this plant, Lewisia rediviva, was found by Meriwether Lewis on one of his expeditions through the highlands of Montana. Named for Lewis, the Bitterroot plant was given state flower status in 1895 by Montana residents. Lewisia is native to Oregon and California and is nicknamed bitterroot for the mountain range of the same name.
If you live in northwest Indiana or the Chicago area, check out Sunrise Greenhouse in Grant Park, IL, which is where I am able to find a wide array of plants, including bitterroot, at great prices.