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Second Spring

Articles: Second Spring

Sternbergia (Sternbergia lutea), a Mediterranean native, opens bright yellow blossoms in October and November in Ashland, Oregon. Author’s photographs
It is in the [mediterranean] autumn, after summer drought and dormancy, that the yearly life cycle of plants starts anew, like the awakening in spring that follows winter dormancy in the north.
Heidi Gildemeister, Gardening the Mediterranean Way
I used to think of plants that bloomed in fall as freaks of nature and confusers of seasons. Though Thoreau suggested that fragments of each season might be found in any other, my aesthetic image of autumn didn’t include the pastel lilac pink of autumn crocus. To me, they looked as out of place as tulips in July.

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) blossoms attract autumn-foraging bees

Then one October in Southern France, I found what these autumn-blooming flowers were about. All through one night, wind shook the shutters. Thunder cracked along the steep ridge above. Rain fell in torrents, spilling down the rocky slope and coursing through the vi...

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