Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Much Earlier?

Like every gardener I know, I have noted how much earlier plants are blooming and leafing out this year. How much earlier? My "Bridal Wreathe Spirea Clock" "went off" in early March , 11 days before its normal bloom time, though my daffodils started months early, in mid-December. Early bloom is different for various plants, depending on what triggers the end of their dormancy. For a take on this, and how much earlier flowers are blooming than during Thoreau's day, read:



Anita said...

I don't think I've ever asked you how long you've been a gardener. In that time, about what is the percentage of noticeably early or late blooming? More unpredictable now, or has the timing been balanced over the years? Everyone talks about global warming and it's effects.

Judy Thomas said...

I have been a gardener since I was a young child, planting carrot seeds at 5, and got serious about it when I was 13. By 15 my dad and I had a vegetable garden and I had a large collection of indoor plants.
It is hard to tell how much earlier things are blooming now without a large database. Some plants are more sensitive to warmth, some to day length, so they have different triggers. My spirea was about 11 days early this year, my daffodils about 6 weeks early, my shrub peony about 3 weeks early. However, the scientists with the large databases do show consistent early emergence and bloom of plants, so much so that we were recently moved a half-zone to a warmer growing zone (showing the last average frost date is earlier in spring now).

Anita said...

A picure of you as a five year old gardener, or 13 for that matter, would be a precious sight on your blog. Kudos for Dad.

I'll bet that just when those databases estabish a pattern, something odd will happen that will have them hopping again. :)

Judy Thomas said...

Alas, Anita, no such pictures exist- 'cept in my head!