Field of Science

Date the 200th plant flowered

Wow!  It was not quite a month ago that TPP posted his 100th-plant-flowered blog. Here in the northern temperate zone, May is a really busy month for flowering plants, and while May still has another 6 days to go, the 200th plant flowered on May 24th. This is the second earliest date when this many plants flowered in the 6 years of recorded data: 2010-June 2, 2011-May 30, 2012-May 10 (!), 2013-June 2, 2014-June 2.  June 2 has been quite popular as the date in 3 out of 6 years. To give you some idea of how spring-loaded our temperate zone flowering is our garden flowering has been topping our just shy of 300 plants. So 200 plants flower by late May or early June, then fewer than 100 flower the rest of the growing season that usually finishes with monk's hood flowering in late October. Without being able to check right now, this year's date may have been moved up a few days by additions to our woodland garden, but then you get losses too. Until all of this data gets put into a proper database (a work in progress), it's hard to know, but lots of plants are flowering a bit early here in late May like our sweet bay magnolia that usually waits until June. There's also the possibility that some trees got missed especially the wind pollinated ones. The basic dweller of the burbs with a few yews planted around the foundation of their house cannot imagine how 200 different plants is possible. One thing that is noticeable is that largish gardens have room for some of the "old-fashioned" flowering shrubs to grow to mature size where their natural form has not been ruined by "poodling": forsythia, spirea, spicebush, kerria, Carolina spicebush, beauty bush, mock orange. The problem is that these plants are sold as nice little rounded bushes and people pay no attention to the mature size information usually provided. The main intent here is that our gardens keep us watchful and give us an excuse to walk around each day with a cocktail to see what's new.

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