PEI

Flowers blooming in P.E.I. winter an oddity to enjoy

It might be the dead of winter but some new life is springing up across P.E.I.

'It's just kinda need to take a walk around your yard to see what's up'

Flowers can bloom in P.E.I. winters if they find the right micro climate, according to P.E.I. horticulturalist Heidi Wood. (Pat Martel/CBC)

It might be the dead of winter but some new life is springing up across P.E.I.

Sightings of flowers blooming in snow is not as uncommon as some might think, says Heidi Wood, a horticulturalist with Veseys Seeds.

"It is quite possible although very rare here on P.E.I.," Wood said. "Mother Nature is the deciding factor on all these things."

With Island winters often reaching far below zero degrees, it can be difficult for any plants to grow outside.

Micro climates

But while Wood hasn't seen any flowers bloom mid-winter herself, she said there are some situations in which it could happen.

She said buds can burst if "If they're in an area that is oddly warm," which horticulturalists refer to as a micro-climate.

These micro climates can exist under trees, up against a foundation, especially if they face south, Wood said. 

"Certainly areas like that would...consist of a possibility that things could bloom."

Micro climates can also form when weather fluctuates between warm temperatures and snow.

"If we get the timing of the snow just at that right time where the temperature has already been built up with warm sunny days...and we get snow over top of it, it will hold the heat and provide a little bit of insulation over the plant," she said. 

Warmer winters

With milder winters and changing climates, Wood thinks it's likely we'll see more flowers show up during the season.

"I've seen plants such as crocus or early flowering snow drops and even spring Irises that are the ground covered types, come up a little earlier than usual and that's not unusual," she said.

But for any gardeners worried about flowers blooming too early, Wood says that a premature bloom shouldn't hurt the flower itself.

That being said, she recommends people keep the gardening to the spring time and if should any flowers bloom sooner than that, to just enjoy it.

"It's just kinda need to take a walk around your yard to see what's up."

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