We interrupt our regularly scheduled food programming for this quick garden-related update …
If I didn’t document this glorious spring, with its ridiculously warm temperatures (80 degrees on March 19!) and super-early bloom, then I’d completely forget about it come next March, when sure as shootin’ it’ll be gloomy and snowy and cold. But here we are, on the last day of winter 2011–12, with nearly two weeks’ worth of 70+ degree temperatures under our belt. And the landscape is responding in kind. I’ve never seen such a spring bloom—it’s not just the timing, but it’s the profusion. It seems like nary a bud got frost-nipped at any point in January or February, so every tree, every shrub, every weedy lawn is in fuller-than-full flower.
In full bloom right now:
Magnolia (both star and teacup types)
Plum, cherry and bradford pear
Dandelion a whole crop of weeds that are unusually widespread like buttercup and hairy bittercress (which has tiny white flowers and exploding seeds)
On the cusp:
Our big prom dress of a weeping cherry tree
Already bloomed out:
Snowdrops (that’s SO six weeks ago)
In the vegetable bed:
I’ve already pulled the winter crop of arugula from the coldframe, as it bolted and started to get tough. Chives are nearly a foot tall, as are the three rows of garlic I planted last fall. Rosemary thrived through the winter without getting frosted, and thyme, oregano and mint have begun growing with gusto. I planted early lettuce in the coldframe on March 1, and have barely closed the lids since then.
Apparently, this unseasonable spring is the work of La Niña, combined with two other unusual weather patterns. The 10-day forecast shows the coolest high temperatures in the 60s. It’s kinda weird, but I like it.