Awful spring, was Namibia

Boyce Tankersley
Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:11:43 PDT
Hi All:

Snow flurries this morning in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  Galanthus
have been in flower the last couple of weeks.  Iris reticulata and
histroides cultivars are looking nice as well as Eranthis hyemalis.
 Bulbocodium vernum is showing color.  Most of the Crocus species and
cultivars are up as well and when the sun comes out (rarely the last month
or so) they put on a show.  Noticed the first of the Narcissus in flower
but too blustery and cold to actually go out and get close enough to
identify it.  We are about 2 weeks behind the 'normal' flowering cycle this
spring - a marked contrast to last spring when we were 6 weeks ahead of

The extreme drought and heat of last summer has not had a negative impact
on the very early spring bulbs apparently.  My wife does remind me however
that I used a goodly amount of irrigation water (very expensive in our
city) trying to keep the trees and shrubs alive last summer - which I am
sure kept the bulbs from going totally dry.

While miserable for people, these long cold early springs prolong the life
span of the very early spring flowers for weeks; again, a stark contrast
with last spring when the hot dry winds shortened their effective flower
season to days, instead of weeks.

Best wishes to all,

Boyce Tankersley
USDA zone 5
continental climate
Grayslake, Illinois

On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 2:11 AM, Crawford Neil <>wrote:

> Thanks all for help with Namibia. It looks like we'll just have to go
> there and see what we find,  we got this from a lodge owner that sort of
> sums it up
> "That time of the year is quite hot and if it didn't rain much, like this
> year, the plant life is also not so abundant and you will most probably
> have only the larger trees and shrubs. But every year is different and we
> can only hope for the best."
> We also got a price quotation, and gosh, Namibia/Botswana is expensive!
> Spring finally arrived here (in Sweden), at 8 this morning!  I saw the
> temperature go up from +1 to +2 , and rain should arrive soon. It will be
> the first for six weeks, with the cold it's been a disaster for gardeners
> here. Henrik Zetterlund at the Gothenburg Botanical garden described it as
> the most hellish spring ever. I think bulbs will probably survive better
> than most? We'll soon find out:(
> /Neil
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