Argghhh! So much for an early Spring in New England. March began with May temperatures, but the weather decided to chill out after April Fool’s. Trouble is… all those warm days and mild nights encouraged the garden to wake up early.
Normally, the plants in our gardens know when they are being teased with a few mild days, and hold off bursting prematurely. The image above left was taken 4-4-16, the one on the right: 4-28-15.
Jeffersonia dubia , the Asian form of Twin Leaf, became too excited and emerged with color last week. The next few nights will have temperatures dipping into the mid teens, and we have one cloche on hand to add a little protection. Trouble is, we can’t do this for every early bloomer. And, unfortunately, there is not enough snowfall so far (more is predicted, but…) to insulate before the arctic cold blows through.
Epimedium, with new foliage and budded flower stems….we’re not too optimistic for a later show, but we can only wait and see.
Hellebores and the bulbs not yet in bloom will take this in stride, but the Narcissus and Grape Hyacinth which are already showing color might not be focal points after this big chill is over.
In the nursery, many plants have started to leaf out with tender new growth. For added protection, we’ve covered them with microfoam blankets and added portable heaters inside our frost frames to counter the low night temperatures.
Gardeners are always being challenged by the weather. It will be interesting to see which plants come through this cold snap unfazed. How is your garden faring with the early start to spring?