March 14, 2012

Springtime on steroids

I tried a little experiment documenting the effects of record high temperatures on emerging bulbs and perennials.

Hellebores

Snowdrops

I captured several plants before work this morning at about 8 a.m., and the same plants at about 5:30 p.m. Some of the differences are subtle, and occurred because of daylight shifts as well as mild weather, but it’s fun to see changes in Hellebores, Hyacinths, and Crocuses.

morning
afternoon

morning

afternoon

morning

afternoon

The mild weather is bringing the blooms out early. Last year, the Crocuses didn’t bloom until April 9. This year, March 14 was the magic date.


I thought for sure the Daffodils would be blooming when I got home from work. It won’t take long now—they’re about ready to burst. And the forecast is showing mild weather for the next two weeks.

morning

evening

Other plants, including Pachysandras and Lilacs, are pregnant with buds.



The changes will come fast now. I’d be thrilled, except this weather is so unusual I’m worried about what it will mean for our summer ahead. For now, I’m happy to shed the coats and scarves and turn off the furnace.

I’m submitting this post to Carol’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Head on over and see what’s blooming in gardens around the world.

And it’s not too late to participate in the Lessons Learned and Seasonal Celebrations memes. We’ll be posting the wrap-ups on March 20!

32 comments:

  1. aloha,

    wish i could grow hellebores in my area, love the second one with the green/white - its very sweet :)

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    1. Aloha, Noel. I love all the lush plants in Hawaii, too. I guess there are benefits and drawbacks of both locales. The green/white flower is a Snowdrop bud. They are cute, aren't they? I just planted them last year, so it's encouraging to have blooms already.

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  2. What a great experiment. I should have my kids make those observations and journal about what they find. Isn't this the craziest weather. It feels like summer in my neck of the woods and things are changing by the minute. I enjoyed all your blooms!

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    1. Yes, I thought I would see a little more change from morning to night. But if I followed the same plants for a couple of days, I'm sure it would be pretty dramatic. That would be a fun experiment for your kids! Yesterday felt like summer here, too. Now it looks like we have an extended forecast of extremely pleasant (60s and 70s) weather. Happy GBBD!

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  3. What a fun post! I have noticed some blooms close at night, and open later in the day. There is obvious growth in at least one of your photos, though. Yes, spring is early here, too, and I am giddy.

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    1. Yeah, I know it's subtle. ;-) But yesterday was the first actual bloom of the Crocuses. They looked so cute all closed up again when I left for work this morning. The Maple flowers are in full bloom now. I should have included them, too. Happy GBBD!

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  4. It is amazing to see the difference just a few hours make. I really do think we could see things grow in the spring if we could just sit still long enough! Fun experiment!

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    1. Wouldn't that be fun to have a time-lapse camera set up? I swear I can see the corn growing in the fields during the summertime. And when I drove to work this morning (after a light rain last night) the changes in the trees and bushes were palpable.

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  5. I love this way of presenting your blooms for GBBD. Lovely!! How beautiful the crocuses are :)

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    1. Thanks Christine! I know, the Crocuses are so pretty--especially with the oblique afternoon (or morning) light shining through their petals.

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  6. Loved your post, isn't it crazy what can happen in our gardens in just a short day? I had 3 tulips going from buds to fully opened today :-)

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    1. Oh, Tulips! I'm jealous! I don't have many Tulips because the rabbits ate them all. They are amazing. I can't wait to see your photos on your blog!

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes indeed! I wish I could spend more time out in the garden. I see rakes, garden pruners, and spades in my weekend plans.

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  8. Your garden is so parallel to mine...we are getting the 80s starting Monday for the week...70s for now...weird!!

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    1. A week of record high temperatures is doing weird things to the plants. But it's so comfortable and beautiful, I'm trying to just enjoy it. And I could go into overdrive with the photos, but now there's tons of gardening work, too.

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  9. I have been seeing so many excited about the early coming of Spring. While I too am enjoying the warm weather, I am fearing a bit of what lies ahead and whether it may be trending. Like you, summer seems uncertain as to being 'normal' in the sense that plants and insects will arrive simultaneously and ecosystems will flourish as always. Nature does have a way of equalizing and correcting, so maybe we are just experiencing a natural and necessary cycle, and in turn, benefiting from the beautiful blooms provided. Your macro shots are beautiful and Spring is the time to see the details up close. I especially like the crocus with the light shining through.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. The Crocuses are fading fast in the heat. I agree with you totally on all your points. I'm also realizing how much garden work is ahead of me this weekend, which will be fun. But all of a sudden there's a lot of catching up to do!

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  10. So cute blog post. Thanks for sharing this information.

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    1. Thank you! It's interesting to compare notes with gardeners in various locales and to document the growing season--especially when it's weird like this year!

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  11. Beth,
    Your garden looks a lot like mine right now. I have the same daffodil tips just yellowed.

    Your crocuses definitely look like the larger C. vernus varieties, will the darker purple probably being the common 'Grand Maitre'... the redder one is maybe Crocus vernus 'Flower Record'?

    I hope it warms up quickly for you! Spring is my favorite.
    Julie

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    1. Hi Julie: It's actually quite warm now--summer like, actually. Very strange, but very comfortable! Believe it or not, all those photos are the same Crocuses--just with different light and angles and camera settings. I didn't adjust the color at all--I just cropped them a little. Good to know they're probably C. vernus. Thanks! The Daffodils started blooming today.

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  12. Thanks for taking the photos of the spring flowers throughout the day and your comparison to last year's bloom dates. Wow.

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    1. Wild, huh?! Last year, things were a little late and this year all the plants are blooming and developing so early. So I guess the "normal" should be somewhere in between. It's fun to document it all!

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  13. Lovely early flowers and buds, Beth!

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    1. Thanks, Dona! It sounds like you're getting some warmer weather, too? Springtime is intoxicating, isn't it?

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  14. Good to see you have spring bloomers up north at last,too, Beth! I would imagine that your daffodils are now blooming as well. Such a pretty snowdrop--I've never seen one with the green in its bloom before.

    It does seem as if the flowers are growing right in front of our eyes. I worry, though, if the warmer temperatures mean they won't last as long. I hate to complain, but I wouldn't mind 10-15 degrees cooler temps for the rest of the month.

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    1. Hi Rose: Yes, the Daffodils are in full bloom, and the list goes on and on. Of course, several days in a row with temps above 80 will bring out lots of blooms and foliage! Even the Magnolias are blooming today! I feel like I'm in a dream--this is just so unusual. Sounds like we'll have cooler temps later in the week, which should help to stall the blooms a bit. I agree that is good news--getting back to normal at the end of March/early April is just fine with me.

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  15. it's amazing that you took those shots just a few hours apart! how interesting. if you blink, you miss something, huh? happy spring!

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    1. Yes, that is a good way to put it and a great lesson, Daricia! I'm not sure lately whether I should pick up my shovel, my rake, or my camera! Everything's blooming at once.

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  16. You have captured these beautiful Spring blooms in your garden so well. Being in the lawn maintenance Phoenix line of business, it is great to see lovely photos of these flowers signaling Spring is upon us.

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    1. Thank you, Sergio. It feels like summer already here, with continuous highs in the 80s. Very strange for us. But the rapid blooms are beautiful to see!

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