My friends, the Woodland Gnomes at Forest Garden, introduced me to a most interesting post by Cathy at Words and Herbs on the Ten Seasons of Phenology. That was a new term for me, and I submit that her post is a most interesting explanation. I hope you will read it. If I understand the word phenology correctly, it is defining seasons by something other than our traditional four annual seasons, but rather by their association with something else, including the plant world.
When I was writing Guess What’s in My Garden, could I have been practicing a form of phenology when I wrote:
“I mark the changes in my garden, not in terms of winter, spring, etc., but by the “seasons” of particular flowers. There’s camellia season, followed by daffodil season, then azalea/dogwood season, followed by iris/peony season, then daylily season, followed by phlox season, then crape myrtle season, then aster season, and back to camellias.”
This week, as I go about town, I have been much impressed with the changes in what I would call my flower seasons. Just a short time ago I was aglow seeing the cherries and forsythia and daffodils in bloom. Seemingly overnight they dropped their petals and became green with their new leaves. The redbuds have been beautiful…and are now just beginning to show their leaves.
The dogwoods are in full bloom.
Pink dogwoods and Carolina jessamin just add to the bounty of color.
And now most of the red maples I see around town have leafed out.
Probably a new color that seems to be cropping up all over town is one that most of us would rather not see. Invasive wisteria, gone wild in so many spots, also is showing its unwanted, alluring, grasping, but no less beautiful lavender vines, continuing to take over whatever seems to be in its way.
This is a time of rapid visible changes, both in my garden and around town. Azaleas are next, with iris and peonies right behind. I may not be quite the true phenologist (did I just invent a word?), but I do see the changing events in my garden and around town as a series of seasons.
My thanks to Cathy and the Woodland Gnome for introducing me to phenology.