Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cool weather = long spring bloom

Our magnificent 'Donald Wyman' crab apple trees

There is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that the spring flowers, especially the bulbs and flowering trees and shrubs, which are usually over and done with too quickly, are lasting and lasting.

We have a cool period to thank for that, although, to tell the truth, over the past week it was so cold that I huddled in front of the computer most days and could barely coax myself out into the garden, except to mow the lawn, and I had to bundle up to do that.

It's going to warm up a bit now, but temperatures are expected to stay below normal for the next two weeks. What has me concerned is the lack of rain. Already, we have experienced weeks of dryness beginning in mid-April. The first two weeks of May brought welcome rain, but since then we have not had any significant precipitation.

South of the border readers: tempertures are in Celcius
White line shows normal average temperatures

And as you can see, from this 14-day extended forecast from the Weather Network, we might have to wait until June for a decent rain. When there are showers forecast, as they are in the coming week - we tend to get just a few dribbles.

I certainly don't want a rerun of last season. Nothing takes the joy out of gardening like drought. However, I'll have an easier time of it this season, and fewer hoses to drag around. Last fall we added an irrigation system for our shade garden, (the link takes you to a page about my shade garden on my web site), which is under evergreen trees and therefore gets very dry, and the four-square garden.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for rain, and that frost stays away on Wednesday night. And you know what? If it's going to be dry, it will be a blessing if temperatures stay on the cool side.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener

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-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener