Saturday, April 7, 2012

Seasonal Confusion Disorder

Seasonal Confusion Disorder:  a disorder in which a gardener is bewildered and confused as to what season it is

It was last month when I first noticed that I was developing symptoms.
The temperature outside had climbed into the 80's.  "Summer," my two-year-old said in a forlorn toddler voice while climbing into the hot car on one of these days.  "Too hot!"  I tried to explain that it can sometimes be hot or cold in spring.  But the seed of doubt had been sown.

The March heat wave brought down the daffodils and ranunculus.  Tulips ran their course and shriveled up.  Plants started coming up - hostas, black-eyed susan, gladiolus.  Crabgrass started sprouting.  

I think these daffodils just gave up...
I hadn't finished half of the spring chores, and suddenly it seemed too late to get them done.

'Souvenir de la Malmaison' Rose starting to bloom
 I checked the calendar.  Yes, it was really only the end of March!  It is technically still spring, I reassured myself.  It's not summer yet - it can't be!  There is still so much to do!

Then I saw this:

Holey Slugbait.  What are petunias doing blooming in my garden?!!

Aren't petunias summer flowers?  And aren't those last years petunias anyway?  Aren't petunias annuals?  Weren't they supposed to die?

I was definitely bewildered.  And I felt like I had missed spring.

Thankfully April has brought some much needed cooler weather to sooth this bewildered gardener.  The ranunculus has bounced back somewhat, and a few stray daffodils have delighted me with some late blooms.  Proper spring weather has returned.

Can't remember the name of this daffodil.. Heat still affecting brain..
And research has informed me that petunias are not annuals as I had previously thought, but tender perennials!  These newer hybrids of petunias are better able to overwinter in slightly colder locations, like my zone 7b garden.  (Whew!  The heat wasn't addling my brain after all!)

Moreover, maybe this spring resurrection of my petunia plants is timely after all, blooming in time for the Easter holiday.  I wish all of you out there a wonderful Easter!

Now excuse me while I go finish some spring chores before the real summer hits..


  1. Happy Resurrection Day to all of you!

  2. Indie,
    I think we have one remaining daffodil bloom that is it. Weird spring no question. Petunias there wintered over?

  3. Hi Indie
    We had the same heat wave here in Ontario and the plant that suffered the most was my Saucer Magnolia. We had 80 degrees and then it dropped to 30 and the buds froze. The flowers either opened brown and withered looking or they didn't open at all.
    It's fun to think summer is here but it's not quite yet…..Great post. Terrific pictures!

  4. I had the very thought that already it is summer and too late to complete spring chores! Fortunately, we also have had a return of some cooler weather, so maybe I have a couple of weeks to get it all done. Tulips never even appeared in the garden shops this year; we went straight to petunias!

  5. Happy Easter! I feel that way every year. Spring lulls me into thinking I will have plenty of nice weather to finish my gardening chores. Then - BAM - the heat hits and I realize how far behind I really am!

  6. Gardeners up and down the coast are feeling the same bewilderment!

  7. Being in a new house/yard, and this crazy weather has me all confused too!

  8. Holy slugbait--I love it! Zone 7b must be just about perfect in a normal season. You can easily grow both Azaleas and Daffodils. The latter seem to thrive here, but the former struggle a bit. In Wisconsin, we blew away record highs so many days in a row! And now we're dealing with plants that are more than a month ahead of schedule and potential damage from frost. Argh. Good luck with the garden chores--I'm feeling the same way. :)

  9. We do have an awesome growing zone (that's why it's pure clay here - we have to have some sort of challenge!) I had never seen petunias that overwintered outside before, though!

  10. Who needs TV!! Hilarious and wonderful photographs. Nice to see what you see:~)


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