Climate Change: How does your garden grow? -Spring 2018

by: Hilary Newell

From the time I moved to New England, people have told me, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

This maxim holds true more than ever in our shifting climate. Who ever thought, back when I was helping my mother plant our family vegetable garden each year, that our climate would be different by the time I reached this age. Different enough that the date of the first or last frost may have shifted by up to a week? Or changed enough that the iris would bloom a week earlier this year than it would have in 1975? The changes are subtle, but they are there, and we need to heed them and learn to adjust when necessary.

We gardeners have many wonderful attributes. Keen observers of the natural world, we notice when things are out of the ordinary. Like the fact

that the cherry tree at the end of my street that bloomed on or near the same date every year has been nearly finished blooming by that same date the last few years. Or how about the Kwanzan cherry trees, flowering almonds and plums that send out a second bloom in late fall or even early winter? It’s a bizarre thing to be driving down the road when everything has descended into dormancy, and suddenly: Pink.

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