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Botanist's Lens: Buds of hope!

Tree Peony leaf buds

Buds in botanical terms are embryonic tissues that are made up of new and actively growing cells. Simply put, buds are undeveloped plant parts that are in a resting stage when conditions aren't favorable. They are in a dormant stage and are waiting to start developing as soon as conditions being to be suitable for growth. When you see buds next time, you might see them in a different light, they are embryonic tissues in a resting stage, packed with plant hormones. Embryonic stage doesn't only refer to seeds.

Herbaceous Peony flower parts

Also, all buds you see emerging before spring aren't all flower buds, there are leaf buds that are equally delicate and ready to break from dormancy. Buds are extremely tender and packed with potential. Leaf buds that need most care are the ones of herbaceous perennials that emerge before spring.

New young Tulip leaves

The buds that are currently exciting the horticulture department at London Town are the Tree Peony leaf buds! London Town has an exquisite collection of woody and herbaceous Peonies. The Tree Peonies have been in the ground for over 40 years!

Young herbaceous Peony shoots emerging from the ground

As the garden beds are being prepped for spring, we are carefully looking for tender new buds. If you are adding mulch or compost in your yard, watch your step closely, since all the fluctuating warm temperatures seems to have given a good boost to the buds, both leaf and flower.

Tree Peony

The most visible tree buds right now are the Magnolias, Cherries and Maples. The Maples are ready with their bright red buds and if you look closely, in a few days you will notice a 'breaking leaf bud'. Here is a good link for Maple leaf bud pictures:

Fern Leaf Peony

Unless these buds don't face too drastic of a weather change, these embryonic tissues will be able to utilize their full potential to open their new leaves and flowers and fill spring with vivid colors. Now one can only hope for a gradual spring!


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