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Springtime Snow

April 17, 2010

Still in my PJs, every morning as I cross the great room and look through the front window, I think I’m in the high Sierra Mountains in midwinter. Since I would never live in snow land (hate the cold), this beautiful display of Snow in Summer (Cerastium) is my kind of make-believe white fluff beneath a deep blue sky.

Planted eleven years ago, Snow in Summer spreads across the outer northeast edge of my garden and blooms April through May. It’s an easy, no fuss perennial with silvery gray foliage year round that’s seldom troubled by insects or disease. I read somewhere that it is a native of Italy, also known as Mouse Ear, Chickweed, and Silver Carpet. You can start Snow in Summer from seed indoors, direct sow outdoors, or plant six packs. Mine is in full sun but it also grows in part shade. Because Snow in Summer is draught tolerant it does well in rock gardens.

Although Snow in Summer isn’t foot-traffic friendly and it looks like a field of dead oats for about a month after the blooms dry, the rest of the year this warm version of freezing-cold fluff is so pretty it’s worth keeping.

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