Spring days in the 70s

Welcome to spring in the mid Atlantic states. Last Saturday night we had a low of 21f and now the days are in the 70sf. Typical swing of temps at this time of the year. The plants which were not damaged by the late frost are blooming. This is garden life when positioned half way between Florida and Maine. We can receive cold winds from the North but the hot and humid winds from the South usually influence our climate. The Appalachian Mountains block cold winds from the West and the Gulf Stream which brings warm water from the Caribbean along the coast produces our mild winters. This is why we can grow some tropicals especially along the coast and the string of islands which run north to south known as the Outerbanks.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the uninhabited Core Banks. Picture from a few years back. Cape Lookout Lighthouse was built to replace the original structure, and was officially lit on November 1, 1859.

Basjoo Bananas- the leaves are not damaged until the temps reaches 28f but the stems are thick enough that the growth buds are protected and begin producing new leaves with warm weather. The stems may reach 10 feet but do not bloom until their second season and the bananas they produce are only thumb-sized bananas which are mostly seeds.
The redbuds are covered in blooms and bumble bees. The bees are moving from flower to flower so quickly it is impossible for the lense to focus on them.
An important task in early spring is remove all volunteer seedlings in the lawn and move them to beds. These are spiderwort (Tradescantia) reseed in a good number which is nice because of our summer heat the individual plants only last a few seasons.
The garden cat on the hunt. We have voles in this area. They are awful garden pest as they eat the roots of garden plants thus killing them. The cat, Cali, helps keep their population in check.
Tulips tend to only last a few season as a result of warm winters and the voles but this is almost five years old.
Camellias are a staple of the Southern garden. This is April Tryst.
The Asian magnolia seems to drop all its petals in a two day period. And just like that! Asian magnolia blooming season is over!
The North Carolina Museum of Art has a yearly Spring event with local florist where the florist create huge arraignments for the museum but also around the towns called Art in Bloom. This arrangement is in downtown Cary, North Carolina which is a suburb of the capital Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s a little wilted but the delphinium are still very fragrant. https://ncartmuseum.org/series/art-in-bloom-presented-by-pnc/
Hellebore- these usually begin blooming around Christmas, thus their nickname Lenten Rose, and bloom throughout the winter but they are behind schedule this year. This one has an unusual pink poker dot coloring.
Skyhouse – a residential building in the Moore Square Art District. It was supposed to have a twin office building but it has been on hold for years and now appears to be used for overflow parking…
The view of Downtown Raleigh from the Dix Park daffodil field.


Filed under General Gardening

4 responses to “Spring days in the 70s

  1. You are really in a sweet spot for gardening.


  2. Your climate seems similar to the one we have in southern Britain. I think I’m a bit too far north for bananas, unfortunately.


    • Yes, we have a Mediterranean climate ( zone 8) with dry summers and winters and wet spring and falls. We experience moist, warm winds from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and the Appalachian Mountains protect us cold winds coming from the North. Between November and March we can have nights below freezing but most days are above freezing. I have seen pictures of tropical looking gardens in the Far East of the British Isles because of the warm Gulf Stream waters. Trewidden Gardens is one I would love to visit!


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