After one of the warmest Chicago winters on record, we wound up with one of the earliest springs on record. It was as if the flowers were in a race to see which could bloom soonest. Plants that usually blossom in slow, measured steps were blooming all at once: Crocus, daffodil, tulips, hyacinth, forsythia, azaleas, iris, lilac.
A big question during the early spring blossoming race was what would happen to summer flowers. I figured they would bloom early too. But I figured it wouldn’t be so striking, since lots of summer flowers are annuals that people plant whenever they want to.
I’m happy to see red, purple, and blue hollyhocks blooming now, in late June. I anticipate they will continue to flower all summer. Also happy, on my June morning lakefront walks, to find the orange trumpet vines on the high public golf course fence, beginning to flower just this past week.
Some flowering plants bloom according to temperature, some according to night length. Fortunately for us, the night length doesn’t change with weather! So we can count on some favorites refusing to join the flowering competition, and gracing our lives on schedule this summer.