Warm Weather Starts the Dogwood Blooms

The unseasonably warm weather, about 20 degrees above normal, has probably pushed the development of some plants a little faster than more typical blustery cool weather of spring. The last four days have been very hot in the afternoons, like 90 degrees or more, and the nights only down to 60 degrees. The cherry tree leaves developed quickly and the petals of the white cherry blossoms have mostly fallen away. The weather has been very warm, and windy, too.

Dogwood trees started blooming today. Pictures to come.

Rue anenome showing more individual plants than previous years down along the right side of the lane across from the raspberries by the pond. Violets out in large numbers at the pond and all along the lane. Most trees at least starting to bud out, the woods are getting greener now.

Moss peony has four blooms that have not yet opened. I’ve watered it in the evenings as after the first real hot day it was quite wilted by the afternoon sun. A rhododendron that gets morning sun is in full bloom, while a large one in the filtered shade of the trees has no blooms to show.

The purple tulips are open now for a couple days, but the white tulips (they’re planted together) are just now reaching their flowers buds higher, but not yet opening them.

A couple blooming wild weeds that I found in a neighbor’s lawn include the blue and white common speedwell and the purple gill-over-the-ground, which were both flowering profusely.

Wild Cherry Trees Blooming in Pennsylvania

Looking around the mountain we see the red and sugar maples are sprouting leaves, the four-year-old lilac finally has one bloom, and Northern Downy violets are opening along the lane and at the edge of the open woods. Sassafras trees are almost ready to bloom, their blossoms getting bigger by the day.

Cherry trees blooming fully as of today – the sun has helped to bring them out. (Photos taken 22 April 2009.)

Cherry trees in full bloom.

Cherry trees in full bloom.

Wild cherry blossoms getting ready to open.

Wild cherry blossoms getting ready to open.

Not the black cherry though, it’s flowers are just in bud formation and probably won’t open for another week or so.

Black cherry flower buds.

Black cherry flower buds.

A few wild weeds that are blooming now include the purple gill-over-the-ground, the yellow mustard, and the white chickweed, strawberry, garlic mustard, and Pennsylvania bittercress. The greenery of pink lady’s slipper is now emerging from the cold ground, showing an inch or so of their hairy, succulent leaves.

New Garden Soil for Earth Day

Did you have a Happy Earth Day? We sure did, even if my knees kept me awake last night! We celebrated Earth Day by doing something nice for the piece of Earth that will sustain us this summer with fresh vegetables.

It had rained the previous couple nights and that made for easy digging and removal of weeds that were let go too long last year. The twisty tool with four pointed tips makes quick work of pulling up dandelions and other weeds. Got most of the garden weeded and cleaned up for planting.

We had a couple tons of topsoil delivered and had it dumped in a corner of the garden. We didn’t skimp on the quality of soil and opted for the Premium #1 grade mix of topsoil, compost and mushroom soil. Nicely screened of stones, too. Couldn’t be happier with the selection.

New garden dirt for Earth Day.

The natural clay and stone we call “dirt” will be tilled up in parts of the garden that either have nothing growing or tightly packed soil. It’s taken 3-4 years to get the garden soil in the shape it’s in now, but it sure could use more organics.

Some places the garlic and lettuce are already growing and we’ll just let those be as they are.

April Showers and Cherry Trees Flower

Well, now that the showers of April are soaking the mountains of Pennsylvania we can look forward to more trees blooming. So far, the brilliant red flowers and leaf buds of the maples have joined in with the yellow green willow leaves to announce that the growing season is upon us.

Grass is greener now and an abundance of Spring bulbs are showing their happy faces everywhere. First the snowdrops appeared with their bowed heads as if to say they’d rather still be slumbering. Crocuses were the next earliest in appearance sporting their deep purples, bright whites and glowing yellow flowers. Grape hyacinth are dainty little bulbs, and the flower color is such a deep hue of purple. These little blooms last for a week or more and appear in early Spring along with the snowdrops. Daffodils and narcissus come along next and they’re still blooming as we wait for the storm to pass over us. Hyacinths smell so sweet, and it’s too bad that they’re fast bloomers. They don’t stick around for very long, so I always cut one to freshen a room indoors with the scent of their bloom. Tulip buds are just now starting to stretch high enough so their big-petaled flowers can open.

The last couple days we saw the forsythia plant open its pretty yellow blooms and yesterday they were fully open. Since most of the trees aren’t yet showing green leaves and the landscape is fairly drab, the yellow of the forsythia really draws one’s eye.

Yesterday, we noted that the Northern Downy Violets were blooming in larger numbers than the previous two days. You have to look close to see them as they stand only a couple inches high. The natural smattering of little flowers all over the lawn and near the lane always makes me smile.

Scanning across the woods at the edges of fields you can see native cherry trees in bloom, which will last less than a week especially with rain forecasted for the next three days. In the towns nearby one can see the ornamental pears showing off their white blooms and a few tulip trees starting to open their hot pink and white blossoms.

Did I forget to mention the dandelions? Yup! Their yellow blossoms are fairly closed up today with the rain and lack of sun, but yesterday a million yellow heads were beaming, “It’s Spring!”

A few other plants stirring to life are the comfrey herb, the blueberry bushes, blue columbine, echinacea, moss peony, lilac, redbud, raspberries, elderberries, strawberries, and no doubt a bunch more, including lettuce, garlic and savory in the vegetable garden.