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March of Progress

MarchTreesMarch in Colorado is a season of rapid and dramatic changes. We enter the month in a world that is, by all appearances, void of plant life, and we will bid her farewell surrounded by tulips, daffodils, and leaves popping from buds so fast it makes your head spin. While all this is going on, Fort Collins Nursery is experiencing a whirlwind of change, too.

March starts with the entire outside area of the nursery neatly tucked away for winter. Our bigger trees are stacked closely together, trunks wrapped in protective sleeves, and root balls buried in soil and woodchips to insulate them from the freezing winter air. Smaller trees, shrubs, and perennials are loaded into hoop houses where they are watered and covered with thick frost blankets to wait out the cold. Disassembled fountains wait patiently beneath tarps, pottery moves indoors, even our wagons are stacked neatly together to wait until they are needed.

As we progress through the month, spring creeps in. Days lengthen noticeably, the air gets a little warmer, and the wettest month of the year gets into full swing. Soon, we are digging out trees and setting them in rows. Tractors circulate with trailer after trailer of perennials and shrubs, carrying them to their temporary homes where they will wait to be discovered by a loving gardener. New loads of pottery arrive to join the holdouts and they all mix and mingle as they drift back outside. Likewise, fountains move back outdoors to meet their new arrivals, prepared for another season of splashing and gurgling their way from our yard to someone’s patio. Our wagons spread out across the property, but not before taking a quick stop at the service station where their handles are checked and wheels are repaired.

In so many ways, Fort Collins Nursery is its own little world. Tucked away along the banks of the Poudre, surrounded by the noise of the highway and the rough and rugged atmosphere of the surrounding industrial parks, we are blessed by the soothing elements of nature that make up our daily existence. Seemingly idyllic, but far from paradise, we bounce along through the seasons just like the trees that so resiliently go dormant and awaken each year without fail, keeping our world a little greener.

Originally published on March 5th, 2015.