Slowly, slowly

A cool spring is a long-lasting one. The cool temperatures mean that plants wake up slowly–which of course is delightful for ornamentals but annoying, to say the least, for food crops. I planted early spring greens on Aprill 3, and they’ve barely germinated. We had two very warm days early this week, which seemed to wake everything up, so that forsythia, magnolias, ornamental cherries, red maples, and other early bloomers came into full bloom. Then it got cold again, so they’re staying there. It’s quite lovely.

I don’t have any early bloomers as showy as a hybrid magnolia or cherry in my garden (the very early, very showy cherries and magnolias are all sterile hybrids of mostly Asian species), but I don’t lack for lovely spring-flowering shrubs. Right now, spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is in full bloom

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I’m pretty sure these are male flowers–if you look very closely, you can see the stamens. Go take a walk in a wet woodland this weekend, and the whole place will be lit up with these tiny flowers. In late summer, spicebush produces bright red berries that birds adore.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier) flowers are opening tantalizingly slowly.

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Compare this picture to one of the same branch taken last week. Notice how the individual flower buds are now visible.

A long, slow spring allows more time for savoring. Try to get out to the woods soon to enjoy it.

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