The January thaw is an accepted part of weather lore around here--thaw being a relative term--meaning warmer than you would expect but not necessarily warm enough to melt all the snow. But this year almost all the snow did melt, save the piles that accumulate from removing it from the walk, driveway, and road. As a matter of fact, it was 58°F(14°C) on Sunday as I glanced at my phone and read "Winter Storm Watch in effect for Monday." What? It's gorgeous out! But--it is January, after all.
There comes a time in the life of every cold climate gardener when a certain fact must be faced: the first frost of autumn is nigh. When this event occurs more than halfway through October--as it did this year, on the night of the 16th--I don't grieve overmuch. It certainly could have happened much sooner [...]
Ever since I realized that the National Weather Service at our local airport under-reported both the lows and the highs at our first house, ever since I discovered we were a lot more likely to have frost than our region at large, I've wanted to track the weather in my yard, the uber-local weather. For [...]
It seems the snow will never stop. We haven't had the huge accumulations that parts of New England have seen, just another couple of inches one day, another couple of inches a few days after that. After a while it does amount to a whole bunch. The sun has been shining more (when it's not [...]
What a dark fall and early winter this has been, cold too, now. Hal Borland was right when he wrote that ‘as the day lengthens, the cold strengthens.’ This morning is a brief reprieve, grey again but calm and mild, impossible to resist taking the camera into the garden.
When someone asks me to name a few of the topics in my book, my usual answer has been, “Oh, things like frost is more likely on a full moon.” There’s always a pause before the questioner says, “You mean that isn’t true?” A look at data, and thinking about the variety of topography in [...]
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin, quoted in Adam Gopnik, Winter. It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that this has been a bear of a winter, battering to the body [...]
Les, A Tidewater Gardener, has issued a challenge he calls The Winter Walk-Off. The rules are pretty simple: "On your own two feet, leave the house and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home. … Your post does not have to be about gardening or a travelogue, unless you [...]
Icicle season is here at Purdyville, although, truthfully, all the icicles have already crashed to the ground. Icicle season, as described by the Nature Calendar, is characterized by alternate freezing and thawing. That is what has been happening here. Every morning, the roads are ice- or snow-covered and slick. By afternoon, they are merely wet. [...]
I went back to the old garden today to dig up some plants, and noticed freeze damage on many plants. It is surprising what gets knocked back and what doesn't. Most of the lilies looked fine, but the asparagus that was about the length of my finger last week was mush this week. My Camassia [...]