Too-early spring

melissa_thefarm(NItaly)March 15, 2014

Our winterless winter has advanced to a spring that's at least a month early. If January and February were like March, March is like April, if not May. After months and months of endless rain it's now sunny, with haze and smog creeping up from the Po Plain; and during the day it actually gets hot. HOT. In March.
I'm enjoying the lush, lush greenness and the spring flowers, though with a sense that two months of bloom are getting crowded into one. I haven't gotten all the rose cuttings that I started in fall 2012 out of the propagating beds and into pots, and now the Teas and Chinas are full of tender new growth and I don't dare lift them. It looks as though we may get no rain this month, and we've begun watering the pots. It's a good thing the ground is so supersaturated from all the winter rain.

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catsrose(VA 6)

And I am just the opposite. Where is spring? We are due yet another snow tomorrow. It is cold ad windy. Even the cats don't want to be out. The early daffodils are behind,still climbing out of the earth. The lenten roses are just now blooming. I have 20 bands coming the first week of April and I haven't eve started spring clean-up. I don't eve know who survived this horrid winter. Misery, misery.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:39AM
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cats roseâ¦same here in Louisville,KY. I have walked the garden to find nothing but black canes. Lenten roses just starting, but I did cave and buy a flat of pansies this morning. I won`t plant them yet but will gaze at them and pretend spring is here!!!Melissa, I envy your warm weather, but it feels "off" when you expect spring and get summer!I miss the good old days when we had 4 seasons!! Happy Spring everyone! Lesley

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:58AM
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We're having a wintery backlash after enjoying springlike weather since early February with lots of spring flowers in bloom. Only 1ðC today and may have a night of - 8 on Tuesday. I hope it won't last for too many hours or tender roses will freeze as there is no snow cover.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Campanula UK Z8

It's bloody glorious here - the gardens have gone into overdrive, auriculas and other primulas flowering, hellebores, narcissi, tons of new fresh growth including even geums, polemonium, campanulas. Mariannese, those martagon seeds you sent me went into immediate hypogeal germination so I have trays and trays of perfect little lance shaped leaves (I have not forgotten your foxglove request - just waiting for good seed), even a few salvias are starting up including the lovely S.elegans (pineapple sage) and the first S.leucophylla. The almond and peaches are in full fabulous blossom and the tulips are filling out nicely too. Tree paeonies have fat buds in my sheltered home garden but are just putting out green leaves on the plot while the softly hairy pulsatillas are filling out too. All is utterly amazing, exciting, fabulous after a long, drear, mild but so grey and wet winter.....although the insane amounts of seed sowing are already filling me with dread since the pricking out and potting on starts in earnest, along with this years vegetables. Loads and loads of completely new things to me such as a dozen differnt lathyrus varieties, mertensias, illiamnia, Texas flax (linum rigidum), various penstemons, aconitum, notholirions, species lilies and many trees. Am quite feverish with anticipation.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Campanula can you make some cash selling off extra little plants? We did very well at the yard sale today. Five us us got together so it looked full with every sort of item spilling out of boxes and overflowing the tables. I sold many one gallon pots of iris and roses as well as groundcovers and ferns. By 11 pm, everything was gone. I even sold sweet pea and fern bouquets. It's wonderful when the extra pots and plant starts turn into cash instead of going into the recycle bins. It was good weather for it sunny but not hot on a Saturday with no holidays to take people away.

Melissa, tomorrow will be in the upper 80s and maybe even 90 in some places. We had a few nice overcast mornings but now the high pressure will be directly over us. The azaleas are in full bloom and I have taken them into deep shade for tomorrow's hot weather. Enjoy your spring however long it lasts. Summer comes soon enough here as well. I have my first buds of my Palatine roses ready to open and it will make me happy whatever the weather may be.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:26PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

For the first time in my gardening life, the spring flush is one month ahead of schedule, and I anticipate it will be in full swing at the end of March/beginning of April instead of the end of Apri/beginning of May. Too weird, especially when some of you are still dealing with ice, snow and bitter cold. With not much hope of more rain this spring the only question is how long the spring flush will last here. I'll just keep hoping that it's better than last year. I'm determined to enjoy whatever is granted to me.

I'm so glad camp's endless rainy season seems to be abating. All those spring flowers will be quite a sight.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Notholirion! Pics, oh please, when they bloom.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 2:19AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I don't like it at all when it does this "no real SPRING" thing in Italy; i.e.,it gets hot in April-and this year, March.Hopefully things will cool down again, etc,but this makes me so uneasy; I can't help but dread the coming summer,as usual, and worry that we'll wind up with 6, 7, or 8 months of summer-type weather: hot, drought...I wish we had real seasons again,, so sad...bart

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:38AM
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Campanula UK Z8

I would love to live somewhere hot and steamy forever....the hotter, the better. I spent a few years travelling when I was younger, all over Africa, India, southern Europe.....I failed utterly to even consider Scandi countries, eastern Europe and even our own (horrible) Scotland, for even a nano-second - unlike my cold-loving daughter who will go off on a jaunt to Berlin, in January......or Poland in March (Poland!!) Hot weather, bring it on (I would have a cactus garden, aloes, agaves, leucophyllum, banksia.....O, no problem. Sorry, Mariannese, Sweden was never going to appeal either, although I did spend 6 enforced weeks in Iceland once). If the thermo-haline currents failed,and the Gulfstream warming effects stopped (leaving the UK on the same latitude as Moscow (and Sweden), and probably Z5), I might have to emigrate.
Even so, Bart and Melissa, while I will happily miss out on winter, spring is always gorgeous and the rare winters we have had which simply passed over from freezing to hot (2011, for example) was a shock of 1week of tulips, frazzled blossom and watering madness (which is why I always grow the ever reliable auriculas, despite the annual vine weevil onslaught). I recall myself whining on endlessly so you have my sympathies (and admiration for your phlegmatic responses and sanguine acceptance of....NO SPRING!!!)

Kitty, I am totally crapulous at any sort of business venture, unfortunately. I suspect my friends are avoiding me since they are not allowed to leave without bags of plants. Fortunately, my daughter moves around a fair bit so a lot of stuff gets devolved her way.....and now there are woods!

Cath - photos - you bet. Along with lilies, species tulips, tree paeonies, dierama - notholirion has been one of those nail-biting long-term seed waiting games. Next year, I am expecting the first Tulipa sprengeri colonies (would have been this year if I hadn't tossed a whole pot during winter dormancy, 4 years ago!)

It has been a horrible winter....which is probably why I am slightly hysterical about a few flowers and a spot of sunlight..l..although, by September, I will have had more than enough of watering and pot (ha!) maintenance. Trapped in Cambridge this week so will have a good sort out of the greenhouse and allotment, ready to take the primrose seedlings (and others) to plant in Lila's little woodland glade.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Campanula, it's amazing that the martagon seeds should have germinated so soon. Perhaps I ought to sow some in pots, too, and not trust in nature quite so much.

I also travelled a lot in my salad days, met my husband in Khartoum, Sudan and we travelled overland to India together and then on to Sri Lanka to help a Japanese agronomist with some slash-and-burn cultivation to prepare the ground for dry paddy. I wonder sometimes what happened to that land.

But I don't really miss the heat and least of all humid heat. New Orleans is probable the worst place I've visited in July.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

10:45 and 86 degrees out is a bit much for me in March. I had planned on putting in the last of the veggie garden plants, but I am going to wait because they will just roast instead.

I wish it was cooler and damper here, for part of the year :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 1:56PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Regardless of the recent cold spell we had, which was shorter than predicted, we too have had a mild winter and an early spring. I've been seeing pics as below for almost a month now. First time in my 20 years of growing citrus.

Pic dedicated to Camps.
Grapefruit blooms. The fragrance is divine.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 16:38

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Campanula UK Z8

OMG grapefruit blossom - fragrance divine - I bet! I have one solitary (feeble) Meyer lemon which sulks all winter in the freezing greenhouse (although this winter, there seemed like no let-up with the ever-present scale)...but we must persevere. I sowed some poncirius (with some mad idea of mucking about with grafting) after being lulled into a false sense of security by a mild winter......such short memories after the previous shocker of -18C. I am getting to the time of year where I curse my meddling ways and ridiculous experiments - which seemed like a good idea when I only had to think and plan.....but now I have to act and do.......?

Slightly worrying - this was my first year sowing tree seeds and so far, apart from laburnum and a few tilia, no other seedlings have germinated yet. Must resist the temptation to rootle around in the pots.

Mariannese, I think because the seeds were fresh, they didn't do the normal delayed hypogeal thing but went straight into germination mode as soon as I sowed them so this 'winter' has been like a second season - you can get a couple of years ahead of nature and it is good if you have only a few seeds....but why would you change what works well for you? Soon as I have a clump of martagons, I won't bother sowing them again, just let them seed about.

Starting the 'maters tomorrow!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:17PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Today I saw my first green in the garden!!! A tiny patch of snow drops, I think, just breaking through the soil. Of course yesterday was the first day I could actually see dirt in the garden! The snow is finally melting. It's only 20F out today but the sun is shining and those little green tips gave me hope!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Congratulations on your snowdrops, seil; I hope your spring advances apace. Suzy, I'm glad you're having so much fun! You had such a dreadful winter you deserve a break.
We're currently experiencing May-like weather, with temperatures 10 degrees and more above the seasonal average. But it's supposed to rain a bit, and cool down somewhat, in about a week's time. I hope it happens: the forecast has been firming up.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:10AM
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Campanula UK Z8

grats from me too, Seil - you must be going a bit stir-crazy by now so Yep, I would be pouncing on even a microscopic bit of plant life.

We all deserve a marvellous spring, glorious summer and fruitful glowing autumn......bring it on - we are SO READY.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:05AM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I'm jealous of those with early springs! Last night we got a FOOT of SNOW! Our winter is about a month longer than usual, and has been one of the coldest I can remember.

Camps, very interesting about trying to grow trees from seeds. I only grow some veggies, herbs and very few flowers from seed. I've found some perennial seeds need cold stratification to germinate and can be difficult to start (including some primrose varieties I have tried), and I imagine that could be an issue for some hardy trees and shrubs as well.

Watching the snow falling now and dreaming of spring... it can't really be this Thursday.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:25AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Well, it's about 8 o' clock in the evening here and I've just returned from work. I fed the dogs and I'm sitting outside in the garden with them, smelling the pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) and the brugmansias on citrus flower background, sipping my beer. This is still the mosquitoless period which is fine by me. The temp is fresh but nice and the air is still. A scops owl is calling for his mate nearby. Spring has well and truly arrived.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 14:02

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Bart, I forgot to respond to your post as I had intended: I hope we'll take a step back from this weirdly warm and dry weather and return to something more seasonal!! It is supposed to cool down in a few days, thank goodness. I had to come inside yesterday because it was too hot in the yard.
Do you have any shade in your garden? This is what I mind in the near-treeless big garden in hot weather, but then I can always go and work in the shade garden, and I don't know if you have such an option.
Last year we had a big snowfall on March 18th too, and it was maddening. Wild weather swings nowadays.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:42AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I sure hope it'll rain as they are saying it may,and that the weather will become more "normal", if using that word even makes sense anymore when speaking of the topic! At least here it's been cloudy and cooler (judging from a map I saw on a weather site, your area may be worse off than mine temperature-wise...)
My rose-garden area is, of course, sunny. There are a few large oaks, but they have not leafed out yet. It faces south-west, so the heat in summer can be truly brutal. Eventually I think (hope) I'll start a shade garden, too...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Daffodils, cherries, plums in full bloom here. Daphne odora and violets are still in bloom. Roses just showing new growth. I'm with your daughter, Campanula. I love Scotland! Portland is similar cloud-wise and temp-wise, but August is a little hot for me. If temps never rose above 70, I'd be a happy camper. However, grapefruit blossoms sound delicious, Nik! Carol

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:25PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

We live next door to an orange grove and the fragrance is almost overpowering, but I don't mind since its heavenly. Sadly, many of the oranges couldn't be harvested because they were too small due to the last two rainless winters. Of course, we can have as many as we want!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:54PM
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