“Early Arrival”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
Look what I found in the garden today. It is hard to believe that just three days ago, we had a hard freeze here in Louisiana, and now there are azaleas blooming.
These azaleas always bloom first, but I can hardly believe how fast they have opened. These buds had to be showing a great deal of color when the freeze hit, but the flowers show no hint of damage. There were several other tender perennials that I thought surely would have bit the dust with over four hours of sub-freezing temperatures, but they didn’t. There must be more microclimates around the house than I was aware of. However, it is the azaleas with their very delicate, tissue-thin flowers that really surprise me by making it through a freeze with no damage.
Not all the azaleas are in bloom. The ones on the north side of the house have big buds, but they are tightly closed with not a hint of color. We have had two days with temperatures in the high 70’s and several more are predicted. This just may be enough warm weather to cause plants to break dormancy. If that happens, I sure hope we have seen the last of the freezing temps. Our usual last frost date is March 1st, and that is only three weeks away. I sure hope the azaleas’ blooming means spring will arrive early this year.