Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, that is Chaenomeles (x. superba most likely), flowering quince, often called japonica, and japonica doesn't bloom in February. When I was a kid, the huge japonica bush in my mother's yard bloomed in time for school to let out for the summer, around the first week in May. It was planted behind our swing set, and I remember trying to push the swing high enough to brush the branches with my feet. (By the way, these ornamentals do fruit; the pomes look like small apples, even though they're not edible. They're hard as a rock. My brother beaned me in the head once with a pome while hitting them with a badminton racket. He said he didn't mean to; I needed stitches.)

Our weather is crazy. This is why the spring bloom display is messed up every year. About this time we get a warm spell - it's 64 degrees right now - and all the plants say "Hey! It's spring. Better get a move on." In a week or two we'll have a cold spell and the frost will kill everything.

I'm staring at my dogwoods and pleading with them not to bloom early.

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