Monday, April 25, 2016

Alas, and Another Year

Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' has only one redeeming feature in my garden. Despite promises of scented flowers (mine have no fragrance) and an elegant habit (mine looks like an abomination of exploded branches), this viburnum is a pretty bloomer. Pink blossoms come out in mid April.

Last year

Alas, not this year. Like the forsythias that never bloomed, 'Dawn' viburnum isn't flowering either.

The typically early, reliable spring bloomers were confused by a mild winter, too early spring, and then a sharp, hard cold snap with below freezing temperatures at the beginning of April.

That early April freeze took all the forsythia buds and apparently all the 'Dawn' viburnum buds too. Not a single one has opened.

This is how confused 'Dawn' was -- buds started to open last December during unusual warmth.

The plants are fine -- forsythias and viburnums aren't killed by frosted buds and they will go on to thrive all summer. Next spring there will be flowers. But that's the thing about gardening: it's an annual affair.

Anticipated events like fall color or spring flowers only happen once during a year, and if missed, it's a long twelve months to wait for it to happen again. But somehow those years flow on, a dry summer followed by a wet one, a cold spring and next year a mild one, a stormy fall after a year when fall was balmy. Some years the deer eliminate flowers I waited all year to see, sometimes I outwit the deer.

There's both rhythm and variability to the annual cycle, and 10 years on into my gardening life I am learning to deal with it. But how discouraging it is right now to have to wait another year for pink flowers on the viburnum outside my window.


  1. I look forward to seeing the magnolia stellata. This year it had a grand total of 2 blooms that the rain marred. Made me do sad.

    1. Magnolias are always iffy -- when the weather is perfect they are spectacular, but year after year the annual flowering can be a disappointment. My stellata got zapped and only has a few blooms this year too!