Monday, April 27, 2015

Cold and Slow

One of the advantages of keeping this online journal since 2010 is that I can easily compare photos from each year and see how spring progresses. Despite a few days of warm(ish) weather in April, we've had mostly cold temperatures, so spring this year has been slow.

Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star', is pretty reliable and bloomed close to the time it usually does, in mid to late April. It's eye-catching starting around the 18th of April and to the 25th:

Then, on Saturday morning April 25, we flirted with 32 degrees, and had just a touch of frost. The magnolia's beautiful blossoms look a little limp. Not ratty and brown as they would be after a hard frost, but limp:

The Dawn viburnum on the opposite side of the house blooms at the same time as the magnolia. The jury is still out on the shape of this thing, although my aggressive pruning this winter seemed to help. No fragrance that I can detect. It's outside the dining room window so I can open the window and smell it, but nothing.

You can see the pink flowered branches arching over along the east side of the house, where the dwarf forsythia 'Golden Peep' blooms. The forsythia is about a week late. My pictures from earlier, warmer springs show it was in full yellow bloom by April 7. (I have plans for that empty spot next to the boxwood ball.)

Daffodils seem to come up on time in mid April, regardless of cold spring weather. I like how the daffodils on the hill in back spread out more, spilling all along the slope instead of in a tight circle as they were last spring. Each year I have added 150 bulbs, making the patch wider. (There is a lot of effort to get a "naturalized" look.)

And I planted a few bulbs on the berm to echo the ones in the distance. I like this effect. You can see the yellowroot in front of the daffodils on the berm is just getting ready to bloom. It has fuzzy reddish purple flowers that catch the light. It's usually in full bloom by April 15, but is not even ready this year as of late April. The cold spring has delayed this one.

The spicebushes (Lindera benzoin) on the berm are beginning to open their very delicate little hazy golden flowers. They are late this year. I have pictures from other years from late March and early April, showing the little blooms.

Another late one this year is the spirea 'Ogon'. In other years in has been absolutely covered in bouncy white flowers by the end of April, not these little tentative buds I am seeing now at the end of April. It will flower soon, and be gorgeous, but it is delayed.

Oh, the fretful waiting of a cold, slow spring. There are some delights -- the magnolias and daffodils -- but other pretty sights are holding off a little longer.

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