Tricounty News

What season is it, anyway?

The Blanchards on School Section Lake took this photo of a re-blooming lilac in their yard on

Oct. 20, just less than a month before the first snows fell in our area.

We wondered, as did the Blanchards, how lilacs could be "tricked" into blooming late in the fall instead of in the spring. Our resident horticulturist, Carl Hoffman, had the answer:

Plants in the rose family (including lilacs, roses, apples, and crabapples) form their buds in July. Under the right conditions (long, warm days with cool nights), some buds will bloom.

The buds that bloomed this fall won't bloom again in the spring; they're done. However, Mr. Hoffman assures us, there are plenty of others that will.

Mr. Hoffman added that he discovered yellow irises in bloom when he cleaned out his perennial garden, and some were 8-10 inches high.