QBARS - v21n3 The Silver Lining

The Silver Lining
Robert G. Shanklin, Old Lyme, Conn.

Spring was practically non-existent in southern New England this year and we were told by various forecasters and meteorologists that May was the second coldest since 1869, the coldest having been in 1917. There was also rain of more than 8 inches compared to a thirty-five year average of slightly more than 4 inches.
One result of the perfidious weather (we had had drought for six years) was the rush to bloom at the same time by all of our rhododendrons when the thermometer suddenly hit 80 degrees F. Typical of the race to flower, 'Boule de Neige' which normally blooms May 20 began opening flowers on June 5. 'Powell Glass', Edmond Amateis' beautiful white fifth generation Catawbiense variant, usually clockwork-like for May 31, bloomed on June 8. 'La Bar's White' also usual for May 31 bloomed on June G, and Joseph Gable's 'County of York' bloomed on June 7. These four rhododendrons in full panoply of glistening white at the same time was most unusual, but even more striking was the sight of the dogwoods which surround our woodland garden and the daffodils under the rhododendrons all blooming in concert. Unfortunately, the plants are not placed so that they can be in one photograph or it would have been included. Happily, our rather unpleasant spring weather in the end produced a most pleasing result.