Natures Calendar7th May 2009 • Timely Advice • Stephanie Donaldson
Many years ago a French gardener told me that the leaf buds of the mulberry will never unfurl until after the final frost.
I’ve always planted a mulberry wherever I’ve lived and so far this has always been true. There’s a long tradition of observing seasonal happenings as predictors of weather and temperature. In the past, many farmers and gardeners were illiterate and even if they could read, few had access to books. Instead they passed on, by word of mouth, the knowledge they gleaned from nature and used it as a guide for when to perform seasonal tasks. This is now known as phenology. It’s a fascinating subject that is being taken increasingly seriously, particularly as an indicator of climate change. If it is a subject that interests you, you can get involved by registering on the Woodland Trust’s website.