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Colder Winter Means A Longer Wait For Spring

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The bulbs are called ‘February Gold’ narcissus, but we’re well into March and when the snow had melted a week ago, all you could see of them in my friend Chris’s garden was about 2 inches of their leaves sticking up.

Not that they usually bloom in February quite this far north but they should be farther along by now. And, her witch hazels, which almost always bloom by President’s Day, were still a week away. At area gardens, like the Morris Arboretum, the witch hazels are coming into bloom but, yes, it’s later than last year when winter was so much warmer.

In cold winters like this, plants just wait a little longer. Even early blooming bulbs, like snowdrops and crocuses, hide underground – or snow – and then on warmer days, they grow.

Shrubs and trees also keep their powder dry, ready to set off the fireworks when the temperatures tell them to. They wait for warmth to trigger the blooms to open and welcome pollinators, and us, to enjoy the show.

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