Category: Seasons

Lilacs, dogwood, and other May blossoms

May fills Connecticut gardens with all sorts of flowers and scents. Early morning is a wonderful time to wander through the gardens, camera in hand, to observe May blossoms.

White lilac flower buds survived the freezing temperatures that hit after they formed. Now they strut their stuff, spreading a delicate fragrance nearby. Yesterday it attracted a swallowtail butterfly and a hummingbird.

White lilac, May 11, 2016

White lilac, May 11, 2016

This low bush blueberry – or is it a huckleberry, it’s hard for even seasoned botanists to say – was here when we cleared our property nearly 20 years ago. We worked around this native shrub and it has become a feature of the front yard gardens. Pollinating flies spend most of their days visiting its May blossoms.

Blueberry or huckleberry blossoms with pollinating fly, May 11, 2016

Blueberry or huckleberry blossoms with pollinating fly, May 11, 2016

The pink dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Rubra’) is in full bloom … striking against a clear blue sky.

Cornus florida 'Rubra' aka pink dogwood against a clear blue sky, May 11, 2016.

Cornus florida ‘Rubra’ aka pink dogwood against a clear blue sky, May 11, 2016.

Scillia/Spanish Bluebells, aka Hyancinthoides hyspanica ‘Dainty Maid’ just opened, adding more colorful May blossoms to the ground level. They pick up where waning daffodils leave off.

Scillia/Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica 'Dainty Maid', May 11, 2016

Scillia/Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Dainty Maid’, May 11, 2016

One of a pair of blue containers filled with the SunSparkler sedum ‘Lime Zinger’.

SunSparkler sedum 'Lime Zinger'

SunSparkler sedum ‘Lime Zinger’

I had this sedum in one large container last summer. Rather than lose it, I planted it in the ground last fall. When it emerged and temperatures warmed enough to safely place containers back outside, I dug and divided the sedum to fill the two pots … definitely worth the effort to have the pots looking full this early at no additional cost to the budget.

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2016 Spring Blooms – an update

It’s time for an update on the status of the 2016 spring blooms. In a late December 2015 post I wondered whether the early swelling of buds on many spring-flowering shrubs might be damaged by a sudden onset of more normal winter cold.

The blooms on my star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) a few days ago suggest I need not have been concerned, at least over how December’s warmth might affect this small tree.

Magnolia stellata on 3/30/16

Magnolia stellata on 3/30/16

The jury is still out on the white lilacs. It’s not unusual for such temperature swings to damage flower buds to the point of not blooming. But winter’s warm-to-cold-to-warm temperature swings apparently did not damage flower formation … buds have formed and are in early stages of opening.

while lilac buds on 4/2/2016

while lilac buds on 4/2/2016

Now I wonder how the late freeze forecast for the next few days might damage emerging spring blooms. Lilacs are hardy, but nighttime temperatures in the teens – forecast for this coming Tuesday – are cause for concern.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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