The tagline of my blog is "Hardy plants for hardy souls," because you have to be a hardy soul to endure the fits and starts of winter ending and spring arriving. Cold climate gardeners are resilient in the face of adversity and prepared for setbacks before winter is gone for good. Here's how I'm coping. How about you?
I just knew a mild February would mean trouble later on. Spring in February doesn't happen here without some sort of counterbalance later on. But even I couldn't guess it would be the snowstorm of the century. I thought those sub-zero temperatures the week before were punishment enough. Read on to learn what was blooming before Snowmageddon and what is currently cheering me in the house.
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.
The early spring that showed up last month went on hiatus as the Arctic Express roared through with six inches of snow and bitter cold--it dropped to -3F on the worst night. It's almost as if the climate had to reboot to get back on track. But that is all behind us now and each [...]
As a child, I went to sleep on Christmas Eve with a sense of anticipation and excitement. What was I going to find under that tree in the morning? As a gardener, the first mild days of mud season bring that same excitement and anticipation, except now it goes on for weeks: What am I [...]
Fickle February. That's what I'm calling it, mostly because it has better alliteration than Roller Coaster February. A roller coaster of weather is what it's been. Every time it's gotten mild, I've been outside walking the trails I've made and taking pictures. Then it gets cold and I hunker back inside. These photos are a [...]
According to the National Weather Service, it's the least snowy beginning to winter that we've had since 1998. We've set also some record highs in the last few weeks. Snow can be hit or miss in December but usually the ground is frozen. It was frozen earlier in the month, but right now it's not, [...]
I actually like keeping records. I can get obsessive about it, and that has gotten me into trouble in the past. So last fall, when I was frantically planting out the plants I had kept in containers--some of them for two years--I left the documenting of that planting for "later," applauding myself for not getting [...]
The calendar says it's spring, but you're still looking out on a vast expanse of snow: You look at it and think, "Before any flowers will bloom, first that stuff has to melt, then the soil has to thaw, then the leaves will emerge, and then--finally!--I'll have flowers. Not so, dear gardener. Not so. The [...]
In case you are just joining in: About two-and-a-half years ago our family moved from our long-time rural home to a different 19th-century farm house about twenty-five minutes from our previous one. I have been renovating the landscape around the house in a non-systematic frenzy and writing about it as time permits. (Previous posts are [...]