Bloom where you are planted

Welcome to my bloom date record for the plants in our yard. We are fortunate to have a couple acres, and there are quite a few plants on our property that are friendly to bees. I never realized how many until my first year with bees in 2015 and I started writing down bloom dates. In 2016 I took pictures of the first day I saw each bloom, with the idea of doing a photo log on this page. This didn’t work out, meaning that I didn’t finish it, so in 2017 I am trying again with a simple table. I like having the years close together and seeing the wildly different dates from year to year.

The below table is a work in progress, showing the first date I saw a bloom for each plant. Some of the names are incomplete and I am still sorting through my 2016 pictures to fill out the table. A dash means that I didn’t record a date for that year.

In the table, the word None means that the plant did not bloom in that year. The word Died means that the plant died that year and therefore did not bloom.

Bloom Dates

Common Name Latin Name 2015 2016 2017
Crocus  Crocus   – 2/28 2/12
Norway Maple Acer platanoides  – 2/19
Common Chickweed Stellaria media  – 3/6 2/19
Grape Hyacinth Muscari 4/10 3/8 3/2
Red Dead-nettle Lamium purpureum  – 3/9 2/24
Daffodils Narcissus 4/10 3/10  2/23
Forsythia Forsythia 4/5 3/12 3/2
Pink Magnolia Tree Magnolia 4/7 3/11  3/12
White Bush?  don’t know 3/12  3/20
Candytuft Iberis 3/12
Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana 3/18 None
Dandelions  Taraxacum 4/10 3/27  2/25
Grape Hyacinths  Muscari 4/10 3/8 3/2
Bradford Pear Tree Pyrus calleryana 4/11 3/25  3/8
Weeping Cherry Tree 4/14 3/25  3/27
Violets 4/1  4/2
Tulips Tulipa 4/14 4/2  4/3
Flowering Quince Bush Chaenomeles speciosa 4/16 3/19  3/2
Creeping Phlox Phlox stolonifera 4/8  4/3
Viburnum Bush 4/17 3/28  –
Holly Bush (driveway) 4/18 None None
Small Peach Tree 3/10
Other Cherry Trees 4/19 4/1  3/30
Blueberry Bush 4/20  –
Dogwood Trees Cornus 4/22  4/12
Common Lilac Bush Syringa vulgaris 4/27  4/13
Spiderwort Tradescantia 4/22  5/5
Butter Cups 4/22  4/10
Purple Salvia 4/28 4/25
Giant Purple Aliums 4/30  4/27
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera 4/30  4/26
Virginia Iris (purple)  Iris Virginica 5/8 4/27  4/25
Morning Glory Convolvulaceae 4/28
Clematis 5/13  4/28
Peonies  Paeonia 5/14 5/7  4/28
Yarrow 5/16 6/1
Yellow Lily 5/17
Drift Roses 5/19 5/15 5/3
Holly Bush (playhouse) 5/19  –  5/13
Spirea 5/22 5/28  5/14
Catmint 5/22  –  –
White Alliums 5/26  5/7
Lambs Ear Stachys byzantina 5/29 5/29  5/26
Crimson Clover Trifolium incarnatum 4/29
White Clover Trifolium repens 6/1 4/30
Red Clover Trifolium pratense 5/4
Red Lily (front) 6/2  5/29
St John’s Wort 6/6  5/27
Orange Day Lily’s 6/9  6/7
Oregano Origanum vulgare 6/10  6/12  6/20
Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca 6/11  6/22  6/22
Eastern Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea 6/17  6/16  6/10
Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia 6/20  6/18
Hosta Hosta 6/28  6/22  6/25
Clethra 7/11  6/16

What really strikes me in this table with the limited information so far is how close the bloom dates are later in the season. From 2015 to 2016, for example, early flowers like daffodils and forsythia were around a month earlier yet later blooms such as lamb’s ear and oregano were around the same dates. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2017 and future years.

Bloom where you are planted!

I started with a rather tame title “Bloom Dates” for this page and soon realized that I needed to maintain my high standards. I was reminded of this phrase on the Historically Speaking blog by Elyse Bruce and couldn’t pass it up. There is blooming, and planting, and the idea of making a difference wherever you happen to end up. It is bee-utiful!

Many sites attribute this phrase to the bible. The passages in 1 Corinthians 7:7-24 or Jeremiah 29:1-7 are often quoted, and while these may allude to a similar idea, the word bloom let alone the full phase never actually appears. The saying is also quoted as an Afghan proverb on various sites, though I have yet to find any reference to back up this claim.

There is a thoughtful write up in another WordPress blog pointing out that many plants do not thrive let alone bloom where they are planted, and perhaps we should rethink this idea. There is something to be said for having the right soil, climate, light, and other factors that allow a plant, or a person, to thrive.