Monday, April 16, 2012

Early Bloomers' Garden Party

My favorite Pink Dogwood in my yard.
Last week, at the monthly meeting of my garden club, the Night Bloomers,we discussed just how unusual the weather had been lately and everyone could name at least a few early bloomers--plants and trees, that is--that were gaily blooming along in their gardens and yards well...early!  Now, into April, with hardly a week before the start of Historic Garden Week here in Virginia, this month's cold and then hot temperatures continue to coax along the earlier than usual springtime picture show at every bend in the road.  I'm wondering, just how much longer can these beautiful blossoms stick around with no rain, or at least very little in sight, and can they hold out just to keep the party going through Garden Week?

Kwanza Cherry Tree

Yoshino Cherry Trees
Redbuds and dogwoods in the woods.
While other parts of the country are getting doused with precipitation, and not all of it the good, soft and gentle kind that gardeners throughout the world dream of on a daily basis, here in Northern Virginia, the dry season seems to have come early. So far this month, no April showers! Yet, early bloomers abound making this spring, to me, one of the most spectacular in my memory with everything from cherry blossoms to iris's stepping out of their winter coats, virtually all at the same time, to be a part of the party before the party even begins. The redbuds were probably the prettiest they have ever been and, every year, they are pretty anyway!

Lilac flowers in my yard.

Azaleas far afield.

Euphorbia in my yard
It seems as though flowers and blossoms can't wait for Virginia Garden Week (April 22-April28) to bloom itself!  Well, if we're lucky, peonies will be dressed in their best for that week instead of during their usual May schedule. But, what will become of May with early bloomers and little rainfall? Perhaps it's a good thing that the lavender, at least here at Blooming Hill,  is stubbornly keeping to it's schedule since lilacs, euphorbias, wisterias, viburnums and laurels are all blooming along with azaleas. Today, I even saw Bridal Wreath Spirea in full bloom cascading over a fence while driving down the road...a sure sign of the Apocalypse! The lavender is taking it's time in greening up while the rose bushes, although leafed out, are following suit and showing no signs of being in a hurry to bloom. To me, that's a good thing.

Noxious weeds not in my yard, thank heaven!

Roadside wild mustard
Just the other day, I overheard two women talking in a garden nursery, bemoaning that it's just too late to plant lettuces and spinach while another was asking a clerk where she might find the tomato plants...are they kidding? It's only April!  And, yes...I know tomato plants are already in every garden center across America.  However, the weather is either replaying March at its usual cold temperatures of any other year or channeling July at its usual hot temps and lack of rainfall. Let's not even think about what seems to be the nuclear capability of weeds as they seem to thrive in this unpredictable year, so far.

Fothergilla at the end of my driveway.

Viburnum in my yard.

Roadside wisteria
Being a gardener, at least here in Northern Virginia this spring, where it seems as though Mother Nature is playing her own version of the Hunger Games by sending plump and colorful blossoms out into the world to fend for themselves in a game of survival of the fittest, is challenging to say the least. Sadly, I watched my neighbors labor all weekend, taking down once grand and stately Elm Trees that could no longer fend off the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease. Still, let's all cross our fingers and say a little prayer for rain and not that I'm longing for any more frosts but, perhaps one or two more might keep the mosquitoes and stink bugs at bay a little longer as we move through this beautiful spring, in spite of it all. And, just a little rain, soon, will help the current emerald greens in the trees all the way down to the grass not take on the hunter green hues of high summer, just yet.

Tulips still happily blooming.

Azalea at the dining room window.

Corn Flower blossom in a border near the herb garden.
In any case, we will prevail and Historic Virginia Garden Week will go on as usual with elegant homes and perfectly quaffed garden beds that will show off an array of flowers, vegetables, meticulously clipped hedges and  pruned trees, to be sure!  And, when rain finally does come to Northern Virginia, perhaps we won't fret as much over the weather.  Then again, fretting less over one's garden, even with early bloomers to boast about or not, is probably a pipe dream so let's enjoy this springtime picture show as much as we can whenever we can.

1 comment:

  1. Redbud is one of my favorites (and one I had not seen before living there) and now to discover that it is having a spectacular year? *sigh*
    But I will enjoy your lovely photos of spectacular color while I look out upon a greening yard in a gentle rain. No color here yet.