An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

March 1, 2008

Three More Signs of Spring, Two Welcome, One Not

SIGN #1 - I suppose that if you were to ask most people, at least gardeners, what is the archetypical flower of spring -- they would say the Daffodil. Common (in a good way) and they will grow just about anywhere in the country. I did not think that I would want to post anything about them because of their familiarity, but they are just so damned beautiful right now. Around here we are used to them blooming at a different point each year, but generally early to mid-March, it all depends on what the winter has been like. This year they are probably earlier then I can ever remember. I don't really care if they bloom early or late, I always welcome their arrival.
Anyway, I know that the Daffodils can take the ups and downs of late winter; I don't recall ever seeing one with winter damage in Tidewater. Part of my inspiration to write this was Pam's much more eloquent post on the topic in her blog, Tales from the Microbial Laboratory. Some of the pictures here are of Daffodils that I purchased from Home Quarters Warehouse when I worked there before they went under. They were selling an enormous bag of 100 assorted bulbs that showed a picture of about a dozen different varieties, and it had a great price on it. Every single one of those 100 assorted turned out to be the same variety -- a pale, nearly white variety; while not ugly, it was not what I wanted. I try to buy more varieties every year when they go half price at work. I particularly look for the odd ones, and the miniatures which have yet to bloom.
The one below is an interesting color, and in the second shot, it reminds me of an iris.

SIGN #2 - This sign of spring is not so welcome. Things are pushing new foliage about three weeks before they are supposed to. As I have said in previous posts, this early leafing out and flowering has me concerned. The immediate issue being that we could still have more winter to come and it could ruin some tree and shrub blooms, or worse, cause damage to foliage. The other immediate concern I have is a professional one, in that we constantly have to be shuffling things in and out of cold houses, or covering them with cloth so they will not lose sales appeal. It makes March a miserable month to be in the nursery business.

Of greater concern should be that this ever earlier leafing and flowering are signs of changes afoot on the planet. In my own yard you can see this with foliage showing signs of an early spring, like this Harlequin Euonymus (Euonymus fortunei 'Harlequin'), ... and in my Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare),
... and on the Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae)
SIGN #3 - Another welcome sign of spring -- Little League try outs were today. Can summer be far behind?

No comments:

Post a Comment