We had a way-hot April here in the Mid Hudson Valley, with temperatures in the 70's -- and 80's, believe it or not. This of course produced an explosion of new growth, tender young succulent stems and leaves, flowers well ahead of their time.
The plum blossoms were at least a week early. Just as well, given that the bees were, too.
And then wham! 25 degrees at 5AM on April 30th. Theoretically, that's normal. Frost-free date for this area is supposed to be May 10th. But there was nothing normal about the rest of April.
Result? The magnolia of course got trashed -- what was left of it -- although the plum and apple blossoms were for some reason spared. And to my everlasting surprise and delight, the Viburnum carlesii came through unscathed, every perfumed petal intact.
So that was some small consolation for the frozen trumpet lilies, a wisteria almost in bud, the Miscanthus 'giganteus,' which was already going great guns, and a beautiful Japanese maple, new last year, that has been my pride and joy. The frost also made mush of the bleeding hearts, and heaven help us a peony. Just one, and not too badly, but still.
A PEONY! Is nothing safe?
The answer, unfortunately is no. Most of the worry about global warming is focused on droughts, floods and overhot summers, but there's more to it than that. Unwanted warmth followed by very unwanted cold is going to be a fact of life from here on out. To deal with it:
Photos also by Leslie Land
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