Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Fremont's Clematis or Fremont's Leather Flower
Clematis fremontii

After a record-setting frigid winter, followed by a cold, dry and windy Spring, warm weather has come to Durango at long last and our plant world has sprung to life. The general unpleasantness of Durango's Spring 2011, is best described by our local Agriculture Extension Agent Darrin Parmenter:

"I would have to say that this last April (and so far the first week of a snowy May) was one of the most unappealing and forgettable “springs” on recent record. After a lovely – but dry – March got us all excited about the garden and landscape, April literally blew in some crummy weather. The winds were relentless (multiple days with gusts over 40 mph), the precipitation was sporadic, the skies – especially on the weekends – were gray, and to top it all off, the last week of April was quite cold."

One method used by Weather Underground to compare temperatures from year to year is called “growing degree days,” the amount of accumulated heat required for plants to flourish. Growing degree days are calculated by adding the highest and lowest temperatures each day, dividing by two and subtracting 50, a base temperature. The higher the number, the warmer it was. The average growing degree days for Durango in April & May 2009, 2010 and 2011 were 229, 107 and 79, respectively. So, let's hear it for the bonus "growing degree days" we've just recently enjoyed!

Beehive Cactus
Escobaria vivipara

Blue Penstemon
Penstemon cyaneus
Banana Yucca
Yucca baccata

Claret Cup
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Sonoran Live Oak
Quercus turbinella

Photos and Plants courtesy of Lisa Bourey

No comments:

Post a Comment