Growing By Leaps and Bounds
It is hard to believe that there were still patches of snow in my garden only three weeks ago. In the weeks since, we have had warm weather and sunshine, and plants have been growing by leaps and bounds.
Two weeks ago, the various Amsonia plants had not yet sent up new growth; now this one in the blue and yellow border is about 18” tall and already has flower buds.
|The goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus), which is one of the earlier plants to emerge in my garden, is now almost four feet tall and growing fast. By the time it blooms, it will top six feet and its feathery plumes will float over the garden.|
|Late-emerging plants like hostas are now all up and their leaves are unfurling.|
|Even the balloon flowers (Platycodon), always the last plants to send up new growth in my garden, have put in their appearance and are no longer looking like asparagus spears.|
I think our early and deep snow and the slow melt of the snowpack get some credit for this burst of growth. Snow cover provides insulation in the garden, protecting plants from freeze and thaw cycles. Because we had snow cover before the ground really froze this year, plants were protected from the unusually cold temperatures that followed. Although cleared areas like streets saw exceptionally deep frost levels, the insulating snow in the garden would have kept the freeze there relatively shallow. Our slow gradual melt also provided plants with a steady time-release infusion of moisture and nutrients as they started to break dormancy. It’s no wonder that, when they finally had sun to warm the soil and support photosynthesis, they were ready to take off.
With my plants growing so quickly, I need to also get myself moving more quickly. There is still a lot to do to prepare for the gardening season. For starters, that goatsbeard needs to be staked and fast-growing peonies and clumps of Tradescantia need peony hoops to support them.