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Well, now we are in late spring, I have to face facts and admit to myself that certain plants didn’t make it through winter. The black snakeroot (Actaea racemosa, formerly Cimicifuga racemosa) is gone, and none of the laburnum saplings (Laburnum anagyroides) have resprouted either. The snakeroot is a disappointment because it was a poor little leftover plant I rescued from the native plant “section” (really just a shelf stuck in a back corner) from one of the big name nurseries here. It was summer, and it was in pretty poor condition, going for half price at $1.50. Seriously, it was so bad that when I got it home, I looked at it again and thought, “Did I really spend a buck fifty on this?”

However, I planted it and nursed it back to life; it never thrived as such, but every year it did a little better for about five years. Until now.

The laburnums are disappointing because, well, I really really like them. Not just for their own sake, but I’ve always been a bit of a Tolkien nerd, and one of his two magic trees (Laurelin) was apparently inspired by the laburnum. I might still have a few of the seeds around, and if so I’ll try again.

The twinflowers (Linnaea borealis) I planted last year haven’t survived either, but that’s not such a surprise. Similarly, the wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). This represents my last try with wintergreen – they just don’t like it here. The soil is probably just too clay for them. And it was always a pipe dream with the Himalayan blue poppies (Meconopsis x lingholm ‘Sheldonii’); I know the local climate is wrong for them, but the flowers made it worth trying. Three times.

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