Monthly Archives: March 2012


The madness began last night with the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Sixty four teams over the next few weeks are playing for the title of National Champion.

For the plant lovers, I like to think of March Madness as the time when the plants start their flurry.  Last night, I gave a quick count of what’s in bloom on campus, in the neighborhoods and in my own garden. I came up with an impressive list of 39 “teams”.

By the end of the weekend the basketball field will be reduced by halve. Not so on our side of the court!  The numbers of plant teams will only be increasing.  This weekend go out in the yard and put together your list of teams.  Everyone counts, from the blooms of the 3 inch Puschkinia to the small red flowers of the 60 foot red maple.

There is no winner in the plant world, but to all that are watching your brackets closely…good luck.

striped squill blooming at the bookstore garden, Campus Center

spring ?

Prunus 'Okame'Are there any philosophers out there? Let me ask you this, can we have spring if there was no winter?

This is Flower Show week in Philadelphia, the Haverford students are on spring break, and the shamrock shakes are being served at McDonalds.  All signs point to spring.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this “winter” goes in to the record books as one of the mildest and least snowy ever.

The earliest cherry trees (Prunus ‘Okame’) are showing their pink hints and with the forecast for near seventy degrees by Thursday there’s no holding back.  This holds true for many of the early flowering trees.  Should we get a prolonged cold spell and by that I mean temps not climbing out the the twenties, these buds will run the risk of cold damage.  By my estimation things are accelerated by two to three weeks.

I’m putting my request in now for winters to stay remain at this level of mildness until I retire !

Sorry, all you skiers.