The winter is a slow time in the nursery, yet also a very important time for the year ahead. We sow most of our seeds between early November and late January. These seeds then become the new crop of seedlings that begin to appear in late February and March, from Idaho fescue and showy penstemon to golden currant and Ponderosa pine. Most of the seeds are sown directly into the containers in which they will grow this spring and then set outside to chill under the snow (tho’ the insulating snow mostly came down after the seeds were sown!). This cold treatment, also called stratification, is required by the vast majority of native plant species in order to overcome germination inhibitors in the seeds and get a high percentage and uniform germination. By mid March we’ll have many thousands of new seedlings popping up; this may be the most exciting time of the nursery year for me. Stop by, see my babies, and share my enthusiasm!