Watching perennials emerge from the ground this late, strange spring has been like watching a very lopsided race.


Some of my plants are accelerating like Usain Bolt, while others are starting so slowly and tentatively that I'm not sure they're ever going to look like their former selves.

The difference is especially stark with my ligularias. I have two varieties, a green-leafed one with sharp serrated edges, and a darker, glossier variety with a softer-shaped leaf.

Most years, these two plants develop at about the same pace. But this year, the green plants are already full and bushy, while the dark ones are poking up just a few timid leaves.


The two types are in the same garden plot, about 15 inches from each other, so there's no difference in soil, light or moisture.


So is it the leaf color? Are dark-leafed plants more delicate, more finicky about weather?

What are you noticing in your garden this spring? Are plants growing at different paces than usual?