Well, they do this year. Every bush in our rose garden is actively breaking – swollen red buds ready to pop – in some cases leaflets have already formed. It’s not only the roses but the daffodils, daylilies, and the blue globe onions we planted last fall have been scammed into an early appearance, too. And spring is still three weeks away.
However, a mild winter is no stranger to New England gardeners. We have them from time to time and the results are predictable. Radiant heat from above-average air temperatures, not necessarily warm soil temperatures, is driving this early departure from dormancy. And as long as we don’t have a really hard frost or cold snap, then the worst that will happen is an early June bloom just like the one we had three years ago. But if we have a cold, rainy spring, like the one we had eight years ago, then the June bloom will be later than usual. And if this warmer than usual winter is followed by a cooler than average spring, then our garden will peak bloom on June 17, give or take a day, just like it does every year.