Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spring in November?

Today is November 26. Today is November 26. Today is November 26. I had to keep repeating this to myself this morning as the temperature quickly topped 60F before noon. As I hung Christmas lights from the blue spruce and arborvitae in the front border, something felt off. I wasn't wearing a jacket and no cold wind whipped my face. I wasn't exactly complaining about the balmy conditions, but it's much harder to get in the holiday spirit when it feels like spring.

The garden certainly looks like late autumn. Most of the trees and shrubs are showing their winter bones. Some hold onto a few solitary leaves. A select few have just come into color and provide small splashes of color in the landscape. After I finished hanging the Christmas lights, I grabbed my camera and took a lap around the garden to capture some of the remaining autumn beauty.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen'

Itea virginica 'Little Henry'

Viburnum rhytidophylloides 'Allegheny'

Liquidambar styraciflua

Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'
I lingered in the garden a bit after photographing it, enjoying the pleasant temperatures. My wife was also on the roof, cleaning leaf litter from the gutters -- a chore that should never be done without someone else nearby. I started to notice the fine details of the garden, and suddenly realized that I wasn't alone in my "feeling off." The garden was confused as well. Tree buds were swollen, new growth had sprouted, and many bulbs have broken through the ground.

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer® 'Twist and Shout'

Prunus cerasus 'North Star'

Hamammelis vernalis


Iris hollandica

Amelanchier arborea

I was dumbfounded when I saw that one of my newly-planted Hellebores had flower buds on it.

Helleborus 'Jacob Classic'
'Jacob's Classic' wasn't confused at all, though; it was right on schedule. I bought this variety earlier this fall without doing any research on it, but it turns out to be a November-blooming Hellebore, a Christmas -- not Lenten --  Rose.

I hope that more seasonal temperatures return quickly so that the garden can continue its march towards dormancy. I look forward to spring as much as the next gardener, but spring in November seems confusing all around.


  1. Actually, there are many trees, shrubs, and perennial plants that form buds in the fall, which to me, gives that wonderful promise of spring, when it's oh so far off...

    I'm doing a blog post on this subject, too! But we do often think alike, don't we? :-)

  2. Buds are forming like normal, but many are starting to swell and open. Hopefully not too many.