Foolish flower! It’s November! It shouldn’t be blooming now.
I bet I know what happened. Last weekend and early last week, it was darn right warm for November, with high temperatures in the lower 70’s some days. So a few flowers bloomed, like this lilac, probably just checking it out to see if it was safe to do so.
It wasn’t! November has “corrected” itself, and returned to its normal temperatures. And the normal temperatures are cold, with low temps in the lower 30’s and highs in the lower 50’s.
November really is the “gateway to winter” here in Indianapolis.
It is in November that our percentage of sunshine drops to 41%, whereas in October it was 65%. Not until March will we have at least a 50% chance of sunshine each day.
It is in November that we are likely to get our first measurable snowfall of the year.
It is in November that we gardeners realize that the gardening season is over, at least outdoors. (Or it should be over, but some of us haven’t quite finished the cleaning up and putting away that must be done in the fall, so we will be doing that in the cold).
But don’t despair for us northern gardeners, we find ways to keep gardening alive in the winter.
We get Amaryllis bulbs and grow them for holiday bloom.
We force bulbs like Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) and Hyacinths to bloom indoors. I like for these to bloom after the holidays.
We read and re-read seed catalogs and make all kinds of lists of seeds we want to get for spring.
We watch over our houseplants and hope one or two will bloom, giving us something to post for bloom day on the 15th of each month.
We open up bags of potting soil and breath deeply of the earthy odor and then stick our hands in it and feel the texture of the dirt.
We buy candles scented like cut grass and burn those on cold winter nights.
We read gardening books and magazines and dream of warm days. We try to remember what warm days are like. Brrrrr...
We read the blogs of southern gardeners who are still planting and working outside in their gardens and leave little comments like "Oh, I wish I could be outside gardening right now". (But we are really programmed to have this rest period, so just ignore those comments. We don't mean it. We are enjoying our rest, at least from now until after the New Year. Then we start to go a little stir crazy.)
See, there is a lot of ‘gardening’ we can still do in the winter! So don’t despair for us. This happens every year, we’ll be okay.
Really…Who really wants to be outside on days like this?
(By the way, I made up two of the above things we northern gardeners do in the winter, can you guess which two?)