The Ten Seasons of Phenology

Cathy, at Words and Herbs, explores a topic which has fascinated me since childhood.

She uses the proper term, “Phenology.” I always simply thought of it as the proper order of things in nature.

Attuned as we are at the moment to every sign of spring and signal that the weather has settled, I would like to share Cathy’s post with you.

I hope you find it as interesting as I have found it.


Words and Herbs

Yesterday I looked into the meaning and history of phenology, but this is actually a very current topic here in Germany; the German Meteorological Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst)uses ten phenological seasons to observe and predict not only weather patterns but also climate change, pollen, late frosts for fruit trees etc.

I thought this might be of interest to gardeners in other parts of the world, where obviously there will be differences, but also very many similarities in the northern hemisphere. So here is a summary of the ten seasons they divide the year into here:

  • The hazel, snowdrop and winter aconite are signs that winter is over, andVorfrühling (prespring)has begun. This season ends with the crocus, cornel and pussy willow coming into flower.


  • The Forsythia blossom signifiesErstfrühling (early spring), along with daffodils and wood anemones being in full bloom. Time to sow peas, give your…

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

3 responses to “The Ten Seasons of Phenology

  1. Pingback: Things I See Around Town | A Walk in the Garden

    • Thank YOU for letting me share. We Americans can learn a lot from our European sisters 😉 These are great tips. It always feels to me that the season changes every few weeks. I like 10 seasons rather than 4. Makes far more sense from a working gardener’s point of view.

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