Spring Treats and Disappointments

Tulips in bloom in my garden today

Drought damage on juniper

It is hard for me to remember tulips in my garden blooming this early. The typical bloom day for mine is ususally around April 15, so we are easily 4 weeks earlier than usual. I think the weather next week will do nothing but foster additional flowering plants to burst into bloom early. Let’s hope Mother Nature doesn’t give us that week of very cold weather that is so typical of many Marches. If that happens, about the only thing we can do is to make sure the plants are watered, and if it does not get too cold, cover the plants.
With many plants putting on new foliage, many of our junipers are having branches of foliage turning brown and dying. This is not winter kill but rather the results of the plants getting too dry last fall, and the damage is just now showing up. This is typical with junipers. In most cases, if over 50% of the plant browns, you will have to replace it. Even when it does not die totally, they usually look so ugly they need to be removed. It is strange times for gardeners: dead plants from the drought fall, and early spring flowers because of warm winter days. Mother Nature is unpredictable.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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