Friday, March 17, 2017

Gardener's Bloom Day: The Vagaries of Spring

Early spring in northern Virginia has been more like late spring or early summer with multiple days of temperatures in the 60s and 70s, even reaching 80°Fahrenheit one day in late February.  Many plants responded by coming out of dormancy earlier than usual. 

Below is a view of my Corylopsis with bloom beginning to open ahead of schedule about 10 days ago.  

And here it is yesterday after snowing 3 to 4 inches the night before.  Temperatures remained in the 20s overnight, a shock to many plants, but not all.  Magnolias went brown almost a month ago, cherries got nipped, forsythia is generally okay, tulips not so good, daffodils might be okay if their heads aren't down in the snow.  My Corylopsis flowers look a little muddy today, but I hope will still continue to open.  Temperatures will be rising again into next week.   

I wasn't enthusiastic about this late snow storm, a week shy of the first day of spring, but I wasn't surprised.  If March "comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb" as they say. It's an unpredictable month.  I'm going to look back at what was blooming before winter arrived (the pre-lamb lamb time). 

Cyclamen coum planted last fall

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Gold Finch'

A young Draba hispanica with what looks like a milkweed seed stuck to it

Iris reticulata is probably my favorite early bulb.  They are delicate, diminutive and a beautiful blue, though they come in other colors. They show up well coming up through the tan leaves of last year's Carex pensylvanica.  

'Harmony' is a particularly nice deep violet cultivar.

Tulipa kaufmanniana 'The First' 

Aubretia x cultorum 'Royal Red' in the rock garden.  I grew this from seed last spring and this is its first bloom.
Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' 

Narcissus canaliculatus

Pulmonaria longifolia 'Diana Clare'
Even though I complained about the return of winter, I'm also glad it came and slowed down the early charge of spring.  Climate change seems to be bringing more extreme fluctuations in weather and this spring is a prime example.  Will March go out like a lamb? 

To see what else is blooming in other gardening blogger's gardens, go to May Dreams.