June Gardens - a Bit Early
By Jane Kashlak
Cape May, NJ - June is busting out all over and a lot earlier than usual.
June is garden month - so many perennials from catmints to hollyhocks to everyone's favorite, daylilies, start coming to life this month. But this year, everything's a wee bit early.
We came back from a short trip to find flowers that normally wouldn't be at their peak until the end of the month blooming in all their glory.
Local butterflies are making an early appearance as well.
Monarchs and Yellow Tiger Swallowtails and Red Admirals are acting as though it's summer. Could it be the warm as toast spring?
Pat Sutton, who leads a popular tour of wildlife gardens every summer, has noticed the same thing in her Goshen yard. Her common milkweed - food of choice for migrating monarchs - is in bloom an easy two weeks ahead of schedule. Luckily, she says, the butterflies seem to be early as well.
What do they know that we don't?
The warmer temperatures are also helping to hurry along local veggie crops. Cape May gardener Judy Austermiller is sure she will have some tomatoes by the 4th of July.
Considering the sad state of last year's local tomato crop, perhaps this is nature's way of evening the score.
For now, we're reveling in the bright yellows and purples and pinks in our flower garden, hoping our June flowers last just a little bit longer.
Note: Pat Sutton's July Garden Butterfly Garden tours will be held on July 16, 17 and 18th next month. Contact the Nature Center of Cape May (609-898-8848) to reserve a spot.