Early bloom creates visual static: a Gardening Oops

Welcome to the first day of June; GOOPs Day at joene’s garden. GOOPs is the acronym for Gardening Oops, the faux pas, mistakes, how-did-this-happen occurrences that pop up in all gardener’s lives. On Goops Day, the first of each month, I confess a GOOPs from my gardens and ask others to play along by sharing a GOOPs of their own. This month my GOOPs is related to the unusually early warm weather delivered to Connecticut this spring. It is causing many flowers to bloom at unexpected times.

Like many gardeners, I’ve worked to achieve a succession of bloom in my gardens. This is done by watching and studying expected bloom times of each perennial and blooming shrub, then planting combinations that provide bloom over a long period. When successful the results can be stunning. It’s what gardening geeks like me work to create.

This year Mother Nature is playing “gotcha” with my planned succession of bloom.

During spring and summer I try to take daily strolls by all my garden beds to check out what’s budding, blooming or needs deadheading and to look for pest problems and whether deer had an overnight snack. What I saw on one of these strolls last week stopped me dead in my tracks and sent a shudder down my spine. It wasn’t a major disaster but serious visual static that garnered my reaction … I have very strong likes and dislikes when it comes to color combinations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A lovely violet-colored iris (it was a pass-along without a tag) was in full bloom at least a week earlier than in previous years and there it stood in front of a rhododendron, in full magenta-colored bloom. I had to refrain from digging out the iris at that very moment. This combination actually creates a physical shudder down my spine, even when I see the photo. I despise it and it’s not at all what I planned.

These two blooms have never simultaneously occurred in previous years. I looked back at photos from last spring; the rhododendron bloomed at the same time as nearby, and complementary-hued clematis, as I planned. The iris came into bloom shortly after the rhododendron flowers had fallen. This year the clematis blooms mostly faded before the rhododendron flowered and the iris open early. Yuck!

I love the iris and now wish my mature rhododendron shrubs were white bloomers, which would have avoided color clashes with other perennials. But it’s easier to move the iris than change out the rhododendron. I guarantee the iris will not be blooming in this location next spring. I already have a new home in mind.

That’s my GOOPs tale, do you have one? You can recount your GOOPs in a comment below or leave a teaser comment below and tell your GOOPs story on your own blog.

Mother Nature had her laugh on me this spring … she again reminded me I’m not in charge. Did she also have a laugh on you?

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4 comments for “Early bloom creates visual static: a Gardening Oops

  1. June 1, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You really had a trick played on you this year!

    In 2010 my hot pink dogwood and cool magenta redbud bloomed together for the first time — usually the redbud shows its color in late April and the dogwood in May. How I hated those clashing pinks together, but it didn’t happen again (and the redbud is gone now). Close your eyes when you walk by your iris!!

    My GOOPs is on my blog today, and it is about mistaken identity.

    • June 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Laurrie, thankfully, with the heat we’ve had, the iris is done blooming. It will definitely find itself relocated before too long.

  2. June 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Oh, I hear you on this one. Lavender and violet just don’t play nicely with a lot of colors. I always avoid them for this reason–my color composition skills just aren’t good enough yet. I’m seeing a lot of those beautiful fuchsia colored rhodies in front of warm orange houses. It sets my teeth on edge.

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