Tag: scabiosa

December warmth, confused plants

Yesterday I wandered around outside to see how plantings are reacting to the December warmth blanketing Connecticut. December has been unusually warm; yesterday’s daytime temperature reached the low 60’s, today’s is forecast to possibly reach 70 degrees F. The soil remains workable, plants are confused.

lilac buds swelling in Connecticut's December 2015 warmth

lilac buds swelling in Connecticut’s December 2015 warmth

Though no spring-blooming bulbs are peeking out of the ground, lilac buds are greening and swelling as if preparing to open.

Leaf tips on the young serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis ‘Rainbow Pillar’) tree show hints of opening.

leatherleaf viburnum, December 2015

leatherleaf viburnum, December 2015

 

Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) leaves are still fresh and full, holding a spring-green hue rather than the darker green they take on during winter’s cold.

swelling buds of star magnolia, December 2015

swelling buds of star magnolia, December 2015

swelled bud of star magnolia, December 2015

swelled bud of star magnolia, December 2015

 

Buds of the star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) have likewise swelled, looking more like they should in early spring than early winter.

And this December warmth has enticed area cherry trees into bloom. It’s very strange to see a pink cherry tree in December in Connecticut.

 

 

 

Perennials are also confused …

fresh daylily growth, December 2015

fresh daylily growth, December 2015

Fresh daylily leaves are peeking through the leftover, browned foliage of this year’s growth.

 

early winter, 2015, scabiosa bloom

early winter, 2015, scabiosa bloom

 

 

 

 

 

And, this type-a personality scabiosa is still forcing out fresh blooms.

How will all this December warmth affect future blooms? The clocks of the perennials will reset once real winter weather blows in, but bud and leaf tip swelling of spring-blooming shrubs and small trees is disturbing.

Will the small flowers hiding inside these buds become damaged by this false start once cold temperatures hit? Many early spring-blooming shrubs form next season’s flowers before going into dormancy. Flower buds can be damaged when rapid temperature drops follow early warm weather that entices early-blooming shrubs to break dormancy.

The December warmth of the last few days is forecast to turn to more normal temperatures early next week. I’m hoping for a gradual cool-down, and cold that lasts until March. This gives perennials, shrubs, and trees the chance to rest before the spring awakening. But, if early spring flowers are sparse in 2016, I will think back to this December warmth and my confused plants.

 

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June in bloom in rain-drenched Connecticut

The first half of June dropped 10 inches of rain on my Connecticut garden, making the days leading up to June 2013 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day soggy. Temperatures remain in the 50’s at night and 70’s during the day when, so often, the sun struggles to shine.

Lush greenery abounds throughout the rain-drenched gardens, dotted by shades of yellow, and blue, and shades of pink ranging from deep to pale to peachy tones.

Native Mountain Laurel, the Connecticut state flower, have been spectacular this year. They line and dot the edges of the woods surrounding our more cultivated land.

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In places, foxglove (digitalis, unknown variety) have self-sown along the woodland edge, particularly near my compost piles where seeds must have escaped when spent foxglove spires went into the compost.

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I don’t mind the self-sowing foxglove. Bees and hummingbirds love the flowers and deer leave the flowers and foliage alone.

Foxglove spires stand tall above yellow-blooming sedum that mimic the foliage of the small Spiraea ‘Double Play Gold’ in the foreground and Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ at the far end. Blue-green Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and blue-silver Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) contrast against these yellows and the yellow-green Hayscented fern that loves to spread from the woodland edges into my perennial beds.

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No matter the time of day these combinations provide a cheery view from the front porch and my office window and help transition into the area just beyond where I hope young viburnum, magnolia, kalmia, summersweet, juniper and clethra eventually form a shrub/small tree backdrop. But for now, ornamental grasses serve as backdrop foliage.

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Along the west side of the house, what I call the triangle bed is filled with a river of sedum surrounded by Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria), Lamb’s Ear, and Santolina in the foreground. I’ve planted many different combinations in this bed, many were plant combos deer have found quite yummy. But deer mostly leave this combo alone, only occasionally browsing the tops of yet-to-bloom veronica in the background.

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In the rear garden, totally fenced from deer, roses are the most prominent blooms at the moment. They seem happy to take over now that earlier iris have passed and later iris have yet to open.

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This peachy Star Rose is accompanied by nearly-open lavender blooms and nearby scabiosa.

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Further along in this long narrow bed blooms another Star Rose, Pearl Sevillana (left).

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At the far end of the bed is my newest rose, the Blushing Knock Out Rosa ‘Radyod’ (right) which holds her own between two holly shrubs and a white-blooming lilac, and blooms from early June through frost.

Now that you’ve seen my top June picks, it’s time to visit May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. There you’ll find many, many more gardens to visit.

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