What a Difference a Year Makes
March 28, 2011 by Cricket Hill Garden
As you may remember, last year we had an exceptionally warm spring in New England. In 2010, our tree peony bloom was the earliest we have ever had, with the peak around May 10th. March 2010 was very warm and April was downright hot, with a streak of three days in the 90s. This time last year the tree peonies already had well advanced growth.
This photo was taken on March 27th, 2010. This plant was in a container grown in a protected spot near the house. It’s growth was more advanced than tree peonies planted in the field. Nonetheless it was quite remarkable to have a plant in such an advanced state of growth at such an early date. This much growth is more typical of mid-to-late April for us.
Last year the flowers were much smaller than average because the buds did not have a long, cool April to fatten up and were instead forced open too early. We are hoping, probably in vain, that the weather will be a little less extreme this season.
This picture was taken this afternoon. This is a tree peony in a container and the buds are just starting to break their calyx. Tree peonies planted out in the field are at approximately the same stage of development.