Wednesday, May 6, 2009

April Showers bring May Flowers by Gardener Cumax

In my case, April snow dumps can squash the flowers. It just depends on what kind of flowers they are. The tulips have some minor damage. Most were not open yet. In the case of winter hardy succulents, no amount of snow can dampen their enthusiasm.

Imagine that heavy snow crushing these delicate Delosperma 'Beaufort West' flowers. The bright sun revives them and they shine again. Heavy snow, bright sun, flowers again. Six words that aptly describe hardy succulents.

If you happen to see some pink in the foothills, it's Pediocactus simpsonii, a Colorado native that is just about done flowering. One can find these in various places on the southern flanks of Green Mountain. These two are currently flowering in my hardy succulent garden.

We call the Stomatium mustillinum (native to S. Africa) the Banana Taffy Flower because that's exactly what its fragrance smells like. Its flowers open about 5-6 pm every night for 4 months starting after the last snow. In this case the flowers started a week after that April 18th snow dump. As long as it's sunny most of the day, the flowers will open. A few cloudy days will simply close them up; the returning sun opens those same flowers again.