Yesterday brought in that first official day of spring but it sure seems that spring beat the calendar to the punch. The warm weather has brought many of our plants and trees much further along at this time of year than they should be. It has me concerned. I love the warm weather and the sights of blooming flowers but in some cases it’s just too early.
Yesterday I visited the big orange box store and stopped to tell a shopper not to go all out on her tomato plant purchase. I’m not sure she understood that there is still the possibility of a frost that could kill those tomato plants until April 15th. I have a feeling many people are doing the same thing, taking advantage of the warm weather but it’s just too early for some plants! My mini-nursery is delivering the plants at the right time which hopefully will help new gardeners to learn when to plant which plants in the garden.
One example of an early growing plant is this crape myrtle. It’s already leafing out which really should be happening a few weeks later. Crape myrtles aren’t native to the U.S. and aren’t as well adapted as other trees to withstand our climate. If we have a big frost it’s highly likely that it will suffer some major damage. The root system will probably be fine but branches and trunks could freeze, crack, and die back.
Japanese maples are in the same boat as the crape myrtles. I’m really hoping that frosts don’t come at this point and we don’t suffer large losses of ornamentals like we did here in TN back in 2007.
Despite the chance of frosts between now and April 15th the early spring weather is bringing a lot of beauty to the landscape. The Yoshino Cherry in our front yard is one spectacular example! We have three Yoshinos planted which gives us our own cherry blossom festival each spring.
This Yoshino is in the backyard. You can also see the garden shed and part of our vegetable garden in the picture.
One favorite flower just beginning to bloom is the creeping phlox. It blooms juts for a little while in spring but when it does it creates a carpet of color when it is planted enmass.