Field of Science

Late Spring 2013

Data is the stuff that keeps you from disremembering things wrongly.  This morning Mrs. Phactor says, "It seems like a late spring."  Actually, it's not so late except in comparison to the truly unusually early spring of 2012.  So what does the data actually say.  As of March 17th, only 3 things have flowered, and two of them just barely: witchhazel, snowdrops, and early crocus.  Hellebores are showing colored buds, and a warmish day would have them open, but none are in the immediate offing.  Here's the list from 2012 as of March 17th (in order): witchhazel, snowdrops, early crocus, late crocus, aconite, hellebores (hybrids), scilla, tiny crocus, American filbert, Iris reticulata, dwarf daffodils, lungwort cornelian cherry (Cornus mas), early standard daffodils, Helleborus niger, European filbert, Abeliophyllum (dwarf forsythia), creeping charlie, periwinkle, spice bush, bloodroot, forsythia, Japanese pachysandra, Korean azalea, Nanking cherry, Kaufmanii tulips, Pieris, winter hazel, spring beauty, star magnolia, rue anemone.  Up to now in 2013 - 3 flowering events; last year at the same time 31 flowering events. So yes, 2013 seems pretty late, but if you go back to 2011 and 2010, then 2013 doesn't seem quite so late.  As of now 6 things had started flowering in 2010 (one was a variety of witchhazel that has not flowered since having been severely pruned by bunnies).  In 2011 there were also 6 plants in flower by the 17th of March (a new aconite).  So in this TPP totally agrees with his esteemed associate to the north at the Plant Postings blog.  Since at least another week of rather cold weather is still forecast, 2013 flowering schedule will probably fall further behind that of 2010-11.  This is the vagaries of weather, not climate.  One the whole it was a mild winter.  A couple of nighttime lows flirted with 0 F. There appears to be more plant damage because of the lack of snow cover so that growing tips of shoots and leaves have been damaged.  My helianthemum looks rather shabby, but should recover, and a newly planted Leptodermis may be toast. Every thing else looks fine.  Last spring, the unseasonable early warm weather resulted in no apples and no pears because they then got frosted.  Late springs are a bummer because of cabin fever, but it's safer for gardening with less chance of frosty surprises.    

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