Weather Whiplash In The Garden
In several recent posts I have discussed the glacial (pun intended) pace of spring this past April. On Tuesday and Wednesday, though, temperatures suddenly jumped up to the upper 80s (about 30 degrees Celsius for you foreign types). On Monday morning, it was in the 40s and spring was just sitting in the corner, timidly raising its hand and waiting to be called on. By Wednesday, spring was parading around in a bright Hawaiian shirt of many colors, shouting in a powerful baritone that it was in the house.
This sudden change has left plants and gardeners a little disoriented, though not unpleasantly. Getting out of my car upon my return home on Wednesday, I was dazzled by all the new blooms.
Plants currently in flower can be roughly divided into two groups. There are those that would normally have bloomed weeks ago, like the Forsythia above, now blooming at the beginning of May.
The Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) have been blooming for a while, but they do so now with pent-up vigor.
And the Daffodils that had been holding back due to the cold have now jumped in with both feet.
I’m not showing many Daffodils now because I’m planning another post focused solely on them later this week.
A suddenly accelerated spring makes me anxious about missing some of the more fleeting seasonal beauties. In a couple of days, most of the Bloodroot (Sanguineria canadensis) flowers bloomed and faded before I knew it. Judy was able to get a pic of this one Bloodroot flower peaking from behind a leaf.
‘Keizerskroon’ is normally a Tulip that blooms in early April, but here we are in May.
The second group of plants normally bloom in May. They, too, have the look of people who have been rushing to make up for lost time. Above is the first pot of ‘Princess Irene’ Tulips to bloom this year. They seem shorter than normal.
Sadly, our blast of heat caused the bloom period of some spring flowers to end prematurely. Tulipa turkestanica, for example, and Siberian Squill (Scilla sibirica). Fortunately, Tulipa dasystemon has stepped into the breech. This is another Species Tulip that naturalizes in my garden. It’s similar to T. turkestanica except that it has a larger yellow center and the foliage is more grass-like.
T. dasystemon, Daffodils, and an unknown red Tulip bloom together in the Parkway Bed.
A few days ago, Great Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora) was just an inch or two out of the ground. Now look.
Same with Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum).
I was certainly glad to see Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) come suddenly into bloom, sharing its spicy-sweet scent with all who pass.
Have you or your garden been suffering from Weather Whiplash?