Brrrr….my stoma hurts

by Caroline Brown

In a previous post I wrote that the leaves of rhododendrons curl up when it gets really cold because they are closing up around their stoma to conserve water. I included a lame pic I grabbed off the Internet but here’s a picture of the real rhody in my backyard, suffering in the Nor’easter that has so far dumped about 16 inches of snow on us. Isn’t it pitiful-looking?

Here’s a picture of the same rhody in happier, warmer, more comfortable times:

We’ve had such a mild winter (aside from today’s storm) that I’m worried about the trees and shrubs that have been “faked out” by mother nature and have started to put forth little leaf buds. Like my hydrangea:

I read somewhere that frozen leaf buds will be OK because they have the capability to counce back from a freeze. It’s the flower buds we’re supposed to worry about it. I’m not skilled enough yet to know the difference between flower buds and leaf buds so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and let you know if my hydrangea blooms this spring.

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