It is still Spring! That is hard to believe.
Neighbors planted their vegetables a few weeks ago and now their beans, peas and other items are three or four inches tall. Lettuce and radishes have already made their way to some family tables.
Summer has definitely invaded the normal activities and blooming times of our gardens. We can fuss and fume but as gardeners we know adaptability is a part of the game.
Perennials of all varieties are blooming weeks before they usually bloom. The Syringa (Lilacs) have come and gone. (By the way, now is the time to prune back those bushes if you don't want them to get too tall.)
The Philadelphus (Mock Orange) is in full bloom sending forth its fragrance through the open window. My bush is a full two weeks, maybe more, ahead of its normal bloom time.
I've noticed some beautiful Dicenta (Bleeding Heart) plants the past few weeks. Their arching stems have been lush with locket-like flowers. I've never thought they had enough color interest to bother growing them, but the show they have displayed this spring may change my consideration of this plant.
When I first got a Dictamnus (Gas Plant) I was told to be careful not to dig it up or plant over it because it was slow to emerge in the spring. "You may not see growth until the first part of June" my friend warned. This year my two plants have been up and in full bloom since May 20th. These plants are called Gas Plants because a lighted match near the bloom will produce a blue flame that will surround the flowering part of the plant. It doesn't harm the plant although the oils in the Dictamnus can produce a rash for some people. Gloves are recommended when contact is anticipated.
It is unusual to see Paeonia (Peonies), Liatris (Gay-Feather), Iris, Aquilegia (Columbine), Anemone and Clematis all blooming at the same time. Yet there they are - a veritable smorgasbord of color, texture and fragrance. Some of the irises are stunning with their gorgeous colorings. I'm fortunate to have several colors of hybrid columbine. And, the Papaver (Poppy) is almost too early for Memorial Day.
Shrub roses, the older varieties that bloom only once, have been filled with blooms for ten days to two weeks. They have held their flowers because the nights have been cool though there has been heat during the day.
I had pruned the 'Morden Centennial' roses severely last fall. They are putting out new grown and buds are opening daily making the trellis that they grace look better than it has for several years.
Beneath the trellis 'Frau Dagmar Hartop' has delicate pink single petal blossoms three inches across. By the gate 'Nirobi', my early Clematis, intertwined with 'Linda Campbell' who is heavy with buds. This rose usually is in bloom for flower shows the end of June. She will be way ahead of that this year.
I've been asked what to do if your garden plot seems more like a wading pool than a planting area. There are no quick fixes that I know about. Most adequate garden soil will drain rather quickly. If you have mulched heavily, pull back the mulch in several places to see if the ground beneath is draining. If it appears soggy pull back the mulch to let the air circulate. For future help, plan to add some sand to the compost, shredded leaves and grass clippings you add to the garden during the summer. Adding these items in small quantities will improve the soil over time.
If you have plantings in pots setting in saucers, do empty the water from the saucers as they fill. Pots need to drain. With heavy rainfall the saucers fill and then more water remains in the pot. Young roots will rot when left standing in soil saturated with water.
So, it is a crazy Summer during this Spring. Just enjoy the sun, the fact that we are having moisture and all the Spring beauty we usually don't have this early.