This has been a weird, uneasy season for me. February was mild, the temperatures higher than normal. Daffodils and magnolias and fruit trees are all blooming right now. My roses have flower buds. It is the first week of March.
Last weekend we took advantage of the weather and headed to the National Arboretum to enjoy the early flowers. As a gardener, I can’t help but regard the early spring with suspicion. There’s always something nasty hiding in it. But last weekend, there was only the beautiful weather and the flowers.
These cherries were blooming in February in the Arboretum’s collection. They were stunning.
This lovely azalea was blooming in their azalea collection.
This is a praying mantis egg case in the branches of a Prunus mume. Some of the Japanese apricots were already finishing their flowering.
This magnolia was in full bloom and it was glorious.
Today, it is likely a mass of browned flowers thanks to the cold snap we had this weekend. We have returned to more seasonally appropriate weather, at least for now. The coming week looks to be mostly in the high 50s and 60s, so it will be a short-lived cold period.
My summer loving self doesn’t really mind. But a small part of me is staring at my flowering peach trees (which should be blooming in April) and wondering. What if this is the new normal? We had a record breaking year last year, and the year before.
I am a horticulturist, not a climate scientist, but this isn’t normal, and it isn’t right. And the current administration’s attempts to undo environmental progress and stop climate change research screams of head-in-the-sand. We cannot keep hiding from the way the world is changing. The fear-mongering and hiding from the truth is unsustainable. My hands are in the soil more often than not, but I can see that things are changing. And guys, really, we only have one planet.