This is the time of tulips.
This is the time of coronavirus, and Emily Copus, the grower behind Carolina Flowers, has a crop of about 8,000 tulips she needs to sell.
Tulips are hardier than you might think, said Copus. They have a personality.
"They feel substantial — they have a presence among flowers that is more like an animal almost," she said.
Based on recommendations from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Asheville City Market, a primary outlet for Copus, closed March 14.
An interim market will open March 21 in the A-B Tech parking lot with a new flow to mitigate virus transmission points and accommodate social distancing. Copus will sell flowers there.
There will be no mingling. Shoppers must stay 6 feet apart. They must wait in their cars until they are told to enter the market.
In the field, tulips crowd together. Shoulder to shoulder, they push up through the winter mud, turning the field into a tapestry of green spikes, which make Copus think of Pointillism.