Early Growth

Honeysuckle leaves with water drops.
Melting frost coats these new honeysuckle leaves with drops of water.

It feels as if we aren’t yet having a proper winter here. The last few winters haven’t been as cold as we’d normally expect, but this may be the mildest since I moved here. We have had some cold weather this week and there’s been a bit of snow much further north, but it hasn’t lasted long.

As a result, plants are further on than they should be for this stage of the winter. At this time last year, the daffodils were just showing the tips of their leaves but this year they are in bud already. The yellow crocuses are open (didn’t expect them for another week or so) and many plants are showing signs of new growth. Leaf buds are beginning to open on some of the shrubs here, especially the roses. And the honeysuckle in the photo (taken a couple of weeks ago) has hardly had time for a rest before its new leaves appeared.

But winter certainly isn’t over and we may still have more frosty mornings to come. And we could even have a snowy ‘beast from the east’, like last year. I hope that the plants don’t get far enough ahead to be likely to be damaged if they freeze – they really need to slow down and take it easy for a while! (And it IS winter, so I’d like to slow down and take it easy too…)

20 thoughts on “Early Growth

  1. Just today, I learned that daffodils are narcisscus. I grew up with paperwhites at Christmas and yellow daffodils in spring, and assumed they were — well, different. They are, but they’re not as different as I thought. Throw in jonquils, and it gets even more complicated. That genus is big! They aren’t native here, of course. Now, the only daffodils I get are from the grocery store, already cut.

    I heard this afternoon that they’re suddenly talking about an arctic front for Texas, and maybe even snow flurries in Dallas. That’s quite a distance away, but it seems we’ll be getting some of that cooldown you mentioned. It would be a good thing.

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    1. The narcissus family are a confusing lot! (Not that it takes a lot to confuse me, hehe!) I’m hoping that we don’t get any really cold weather here, so that there’s a better chance of borderline hardy plants surviving…we’ll see!

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      1. I saw clumps of miniature daffodils today, they had decently advanced heads and could be flowering next week, so soon into Feb. We’ve had inconsistent temperatures here and nature is confused.

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    1. Wow, honeysuckle flowers already! That is crazy alright! No sign of flowers on the honeysuckle here, but a seedling of a perennial potentilla has flowered. (Poor little thing has been flattened by the rain!)

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    1. It feels like a rainy day shot to me too, Indira. If you look closely, you can just see a bit of semi-melted frost in the centre of the bigger leaves. I think I may soon have plenty of opportunities for rainy day pics! 🙂

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  2. Stilll a ways to go before we see ours. It’s nice to see yours and be reminded that spring is indeed close by. As much as I have been enjoying winter, nothing beats the feeling one gets as the vernal season surrounds us with warmth and rebirth.
    Those are lovely droplets clinging to the fresh leaves.

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  3. It is always a fear here that we will get that one blast of super-cold and knock out any new growth we are getting. I know it is tough knowing that your favorite plants can get in trouble fast so I wish you luck with that. Hopefully you are going to have a really beautiful early Spring!

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    1. It’s very sunny at the moment, so that’s making me hope that spring isn’t far away. (The first daffodil is almost ready to open!) Fingers crossed that it will stay mild!

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    1. It’s so windy and wet here that we’ve kept going outside to the minimum. It will feel great when the weather calms down again! Hope it doesn’t get cold!

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    1. It’s me being late today – finally back inside and able to get to the PC. Thanks for your comment, Indira – I enjoy the chance to read and reply to them. 🙂

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