Unlike my students and nearly every one I run into, I’m not relishing this rare warm March weather. I like warm (not hot) weather as much as the next person, but in season. If there’s going to be a bright sun out there, I would prefer that there are leaves on the trees for shelter and shade. Yesterday the temperature rose into the mid 80s which is just wrong for March in Massachusetts. Last year was an amazing year for my garden, well-protected and -watered by a blanket of snow all winter long, but this year I am worried. Looking around the web for some advice and reassurance, I instead became more alarmed when I came across the website for a campaign by the National Trust in Great Britain from 2010: A Plant in Time sought to raise environmental awareness by examining how climate change could end gardening as we know it.
The point, and the cause, is well-illustrated, literally, by three paintings by artist Rob Collins showing the effects of rising temperatures on the classic English garden—essentially it evolves into a Mediterranean one.
The end of the English garden is a dismal prospect indeed! I look at my own (New) English garden, where blooms abound, and wonder if I’m going to see the same transformation: the disappearance of the lawn, the roses, the delphiniums (actually, my delphiniums never come back anyway). The National Wildlife Foundation’s Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming informs me that I’m still in my old 6B Plant Hardiness Zone, but also that at least one iconic Massachusetts plant, the mayflower, will disappear in the next few decades due to climate change.
March 23rd, 2012 at 8:34 am
I have to say I kind of like the mediterranean one. 🙂 I absolutely love Massachusetts, and being from Texas, my god I wish we had your weather.
March 23rd, 2012 at 11:32 am
Always informative and provocative. This is all too dismal. Thanks again.
March 23rd, 2012 at 1:49 pm
A very fine piece. It was a worrying winter. Here in our little corner of Ontario – between Stratford and London – we didn’t use our snow shovels once.
Much as I fear for the future of gardening, I’m even more concerned about farming.
March 24th, 2012 at 8:25 am
I know, Brian, me too. Thanks for commenting and linking me on your wonderful blog: I’m up against a few deadlines in the next few weeks and then I’m going to indulge in exploring in thoroughly!
March 23rd, 2012 at 5:56 pm
You are the only person who has expressed the concern I’ve felt these past few days here in Maine. It’s been distinctly uncomfortable for me also having so much warmth with no leaves on the trees.
March 24th, 2012 at 7:40 am
I heard it’s in the 80’s all the way up in Canada.
March 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am
Very cool (no pun intended) images!
March 28th, 2012 at 7:44 am
My beautiful Magnolia had started to bloom last week, but with this cold (normal) spell we had these few days, it turned brown. Sad and worrying indeed.
Loved the Camellia post – would love to have a hot house at the DV.