Amy Stewart was amazed, when she came to visit me two weeks ago, that we still had snow on the ground. Since then, we’ve had an unbroken run of sunny, hot weather. What global warming means to us is no spring. We go straight from dirty glaciers to July in a matter of days.
This year, we’re doing it without April showers. I can accept a drought at the end of the summer, such as we had last year. I can accept the fact that I was an idiot to give in to the impulse to buy a tree peony in July, and another $29 purchase is now dead as a doornail.
But it is really upsetting me that I left my vegetable garden behind last Monday morning in the country without watering it, and my pea seedlings are probably burning up. I’ve never once set up my sprinkler in April.
Even more freakish, my bulbs seem to be messed up, and instead of the slow unfurling I’ve planted for, they all seem to be popping off at once. Bulbs–more reliable than an atomic clock. But this year, my Single Early Tulips are blooming before my species tulips, tulipa tarda. That’s not how I remember the order going in previous years.
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that the species tulips are sensitive to absolute measures of the season, such as day length. And that the hybrid tulips, which have been bred to be forced in a greenhouse, are more sensitive to temperature. They’ve woken up early, but think they’re late. They’re also smaller than normal in their haste to catch up. "My God, did we miss May?" they are saying.