Late bloomers

Posted on Posted inDiscoveries

Happy second anniversary in our new home! Two years today, we closed on this little piece of paradise.

As we awaited the home closing that late winter and early spring, I’d occasionally take a detour on my ride home from work to pass by the house. I was already mulling over ideas and hoping to catch a glimpse of the landscape as the spring began to unfold. I was excited to understand what we had to work with, because it wasn’t too easy to tell when we toured the property in the dead of winter.

During those drives, I was stumped to see that so many trees had not even begun to leaf out. The large, twisted old tree above the house looked like it might be dead, and it was practically May! I had dreamed about the cooling shade of this tree over our porch in the summer, as we relaxed and took in the world from our hilltop perch.

The tree in question, a catalpa, is just fine. It just doesn’t start to leaf out until May.

I got to thinking about this again the past few weeks as I observed how the foundation shrubs I bought in February were faring. Viburnums were springing to life, but the witch hazels — especially the native Hamamelis Virginiana — just couldn’t seem to get their acts together. Would they be casualties? The featured image of this post shows the buds in late April — not exactly bursting forth. I gently bent the branches to test if they were supple and alive, and they were. But nowhere on the internet could I find information about why they seemed to be frozen in their winter state.

There are several plants on the property that just don’t really start to leaf out until we start to turn the corner toward mid-May. The catalpa, a Rose of Sharon I planted toward the edge of the property, and — taking the prize as they crawl neck and neck toward springtime — the native witch hazel and those black walnut trees that dot our woodlands.

Witch hazel coming to life in May

They’re all doing fine. They’re just on a different clock.

In the meantime, everything else is bursting forth due to all the rain we’ve had the past two weeks.

Astilbe buds forming