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Homegrown: Late bloomers

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Ken Werling of Amber, a small town near Anamosa, gave me a call about his lilacs that were blooming – this month.

“It’s just a freak of nature,” he said of the blossoms, which his daughter noticed while working on his roof around Oct. 1. “They’re blooming, but I don’t know why.”

Werling and his wife have lived in their home for 32 years and this is the first time that the lilacs – an Iowa springtime staple - have re-bloomed in the fall.

He says the flowers bloomed in the spring, as usual, but speculates the spring frost may have played a role.

Lilacs were blooming much sooner in Iowa this year, so I wonder if that also might be a factor.

If you have a theory or have noticed any other unusual gardening phenomena, post your photos or findings on Homegrown’s Facebook page or on our reporter’s notebook at



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