Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Out of Season

I've got some Magnolia buds opening in a vase in the last week of the year. I'd never have guessed that this would be so. And it was only by a chance encounter last month with some pruned branches on a bike ride in Prospect Park that I get to celebrate this unseasonal occurence.

In contrast, last year in early December, I came upon an unusual sight. It was very cold like winter and on a Kousa Dogwood, there were both some autumn leaves (yes, the right season) still hanging on, but also some unseasonal blooms. I felt as though I was experiencing three seasons in one day.

December 2010, Brooklyn
Should I have been surprised? After all, I'd also seen a variegated Kousa blooming at Brooklyn Botanic in September of last year.

September, 2010, Brooklyn Botanic
What can I tell you? You learn about plants by paying attention to their regularity through the seasons and also their irregularity or their response to the weather conditions. This is true whether you are new to gardening or a pro. For instance, on The New York Botanical Garden's Plant Talk blog, there was recently this post about unseasonal observations at the New York Botanical Garden. There, also Kousa Dogwoods blooming out of season among other plants. Does that mean perhaps that Kousas are more sensitive in their response to seasonal fluctuations than some other species? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm not a scientist and I don't have the kind of data to answer that question. But you don't have to be a scientist to just think like one, whether you find all the answers to your questions or not.

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