Saturday, March 31, 2012

Riches to Rags

Or, in like a lamb, out like a lion.

Our Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) obviously didn't know that old adage about the changeability of March weather.
March 22, 2012
On March 21st, the day before I took the picture above, the magnolia broke bloom (a full month earlier than its typical bloom time).  A day later it was festooned with stunningly beautiful white flowers and abuzz with flying insects. 

Almost full bloom

March, 28, 2012
Then two successive nights of below freezing temperatures withered the blossoms on their stems, and there they remain, brown and bedraggled like dirty rags, yet still firmly attached!   No petals will blow gracefully from the tree and litter the ground this year.  Can't say what became of all the insects.

March, 28, 2012
In yesterday's Globe and Mail, gardener Marjorie Harris warned, as ever, of the dangers of rushing the season and the wisdom of letting the garden rest until the soil has truly warmed.  If only she could speak to the trees! I confess, like my magnolia, I couldn't wait and was out pulling the shoots of garlic mustard--my current nemesis--while the magnolia bloomed.  Today, snow and sleet returned to weigh down the heads of dozens of my early blooming daffodils who've given up and are having a little lie down in the snow.

Same tree, last year, May 5th!

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