Remembrance of summers past...


Let's not beat around the bush: that's larchleaf penstemon (Penstemon laricifolius) growing in a trough at Quince St. (where I live). I've had that blasted plant forever--in that trough and in other troughs where each year it produces some wan pink flowers and doesn't exactly ring anyone's bells....until that crazy spring three years ago--the spring of 2007. Tons of late snow and cool and then rain and then more coolness. Never have I seen bulbs bloom so prolifically. And for the first time the larchleaf penstemon bloomed as it does all over Wyoming--with that luminescent, almost nacreous pink that really can't be photographed.

The plant may sneak over here and there into Montana (the white subspecies barely makes it into Colorado) but across Wyoming you can find it in a good year coloring the steppe with their lavender/rose/purple flowers in June. What fun to have had the bloody thing decide to bloom densely and darkly rather than the pallid flowers it gives us in a typical year when the temps get hotter earlier than they do in Wyoming. So I guess I'll grow and plant a few more and hope for another perfect spring!

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