Field of Science

March is over, no fooling! Here's the data.

After this year's March, the Phactor wonders what May will bring.  What's that old saying, "April showers bring May flowers."  That won't happen this year because as best can be determined, nothing will be left to flower.  Now this is one of the problems with data, you actually have numbers not just some feeling that things are flowering earlier this year.  In both 2010 and 2011 17 different plants flowered in our gardens.  Now let's check the 2012 data, hmm, let's see, oh yes, 100 plants flowered!!!  Yes that includes about 6 new plants, but 4 or 5 from previous years did not flower (like the anise magnolia - darn!).  Now 2011 averaged 10-15 days later than 2010, but the plants presently flowering, e.g., red buckeye and everything that follows below, flowered between April 15 and May 8 in the last 2 years. 
Here's what has flowered so far, in sequence, a mixture of names and formality.  
witchhazel, snowdrops, early crocus, late crocus, aconite, hellebore hybrids, scilla, tiny crocus sp., American filbert, Iris reticulata, dwarf daffodils, lungwort, cornelian cherry, standard daffodils, Helleborus niger, European filbert, abeliophyllum, glecoma hederacea, vinca minor, spicebush, bloodroot, forsythia, Japanese pachysandra, Korean azalea, Nanking cherry, kaufmanni tulip, pieris, winterhazel, spring beauty, star magnolia, rue anemone, grape hyacinth, pjm rhododendron, tulip magnolia, pushkinia, tulip sp., tulip bakeri, bluebells, redbud, flowering quince, sessile trillium, common violet, celandine poppy, Labrador violet, hyacinth, brunnera, saucer magnolia, sugar maple, late daffodils, bleeding hearts, service berry, yellow archangel, epimedium yellow, pear, flowering crag, fothergilla, golden corydalis, nodding trillium, jacob's ladder, marsh marigold, hackberry, white trout lily, varigated sedge, kerria, wild ginger, tulip tarda, hepatica, akebia, Siberian bush pea, yellow ginger, magnolia vine, mahonia, prairie trillium, red trillium, Carolina silver bells, currants, clue cohosh, red buckeye, fragrant sumac, pawpaw, bellwort, lilac, tulip sp., epimedium red, phlox divaricata, crabapple, mulberry, spicy light azalea, American holly, flowering dogwood, oaks (3 sp.), shooting stars, tree peony (white), giant ajuga, european ginger, blueberry, strawberry, blackhaw viburnum, Narcissus poeticus.  
So with so much warm weather in March, the sequence of flowering has not been much changed, but the duration of flowering has been much foreshortened.  Bing, bang, boom, and done.  What is really amazing about this, is that the Phactors had about 285 plants flowering last year and 275 the year before that.  So more than one-third of our total for the whole season are in flower or flowered in March.  One-third!  So what's left for May given that most of the things that flower in May will flower in April.  So nothing to do but look forward to my soon to flower Aprilapple.  Is this what we have to look forward to if our climate is warming?  And along with the warmth, it's much dryer than normal too.  This is most disturbing, and should we have a late hard frost, something neither unlikely or unknown for early April, a lot of plants are toast.  Last time that happened, the magnolia vine froze back to the ground.  

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