It’s Spring in New England

It’s been almost all birds all the time on the blog lately, and if you don’t live in the Northeast, (or just about anywhere else in the country, really), you don’t know that we’ve had freakishly warm temperatures here lately.  And when I say freakish, I mean temperatures that are 6 weeks ahead of where they should be. That will jump-start spring in a hurry.  High temperature records are falling faster than prices at the box stores.

So this week I awoke to so much bird song that it was almost deafening.  The first bird of the morning this week was the robin–that normally doesn’t happen until late May or June.  Just wild–but very pretty nevertheless.

And in the gardens, (since this blog is called Gardendaze) this is what’s happening:

This is a little hard to see, but these are moths on my front doorway.  There are three.  There have been as many as 10 at a time first thing, before the sun comes in.  And at night it’s a moth bonanza.  We have a CFL lamp on either side of the door and the moths are attracted to the light.  They stay there all night, until the sun hits the door in the morning.  Spiders build webs too to catch the incoming bugs.  By mid-summer, it’s a little freaky.

The rather interesting flower form of petasites japonica, which comes up before the plant leafs out.  Once the plant leafs out, it’s just variegated leaves about the size of a dinner plate.  Because mine is in a relatively dry area, it hasn’t become too much of a pest.  But if you have a wet area that you’d like filled,put this plant there and it will take over–it’s quite aggressive.  It has not been called invasive because it doesn’t have seeds for the birds to take out to wild areas–but it will take over in wetter areas,  so consider yourself warned.

One of my favorite early spring shrubs, pieris andromeda.  The hanging flower clusters are just opening.  Because this shrub is so common in New England, most people are not fond of it.  But because it is one of the earliest blooming and the bees find it, and it’s fragrant, I love it.  

It does have a drawback: it will get a lacebug in later summer.  I just ignore that.  I don’t need perfect leaves, and the new growth easily covers the lacebug damage from the previous season, which is only visible close up anyway.

The roses are leafing out much too soon–this is one of my dwarf shrub roses.  This will be damaged by a hard freeze–which is still possible.  It’s only mid-March, after all.

My bulbs are actually pretty far behind a lot of others in the area.  I blame it on the heavy, wet clay soil that I have.  But that’s fine–it’s still just mid-March!  Unless this opens fully, it will survive whatever the weather throw at it–but they are predicting possible upper 70s to 80 degrees next week–so perhaps not!

This is very bad news–this is the Nikko Blue hydrangea starting to leaf out.  They are terribly sensitive to frost.  And there will be more frost (even if we do get 80 degrees)!

And finally, since the plants are so far ahead of schedule, so are the weeds!  They love the warmer weather (as do we).  It’s just that no one (I don’t think) is quite ready to weed yet!

2 thoughts on “It’s Spring in New England

  1. Bridget Foy March 16, 2012 / 1:03 pm

    Here in Ireland everything seems to be shooting ahead of time too. Hopefully we don’t have a late frost. Some shrubs have an inch of new growth.

    • gardendaze March 16, 2012 / 1:46 pm

      It’s amazing, isn’t it? Almost the whole world seems to have skipped spring this year and is racing ahead to summer (although we have one of those drizzly wet days here where the temperatures are cold and it’s damp and it feels three times colder than it should because it’s been so un-naturally warm lately!)

      The professional weather folks keep assuring us that “weather has no memory” so just because we’re having a warm spring doesn’t mean we’ll roast all summer.

      Personally, I’d just like a little more rain for the gardens!

      Thanks so much for being a faithful reader!

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