Snow and More Snow

February 25, 2015 snow melt 018

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I can remember times, when I was still teaching, when I would lie awake at night wishing for a snow day.  School kids have more in common with their teachers, sometimes, than they may realize!  Everyone needs a break from their routine from time to time.  And everyone I know is wishing now for a break from the snow.

But that break is still down the road and over the weather horizon.  Another storm moves in tonight. We have restocked on the essentials: coffee, cream, and cat litter.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 025

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Snow remains a welcome sight in the winter garden.  Beyond it’s beauty, it also insulates, hydrates, and provides the extended period of cold so many plants in our region require for spring growth.

We may not think about it, but snow absolutely functions like a blanket on our garden beds and in our pots.  Deep snow protects roots, crowns and leaves from winter’s very dry and extremely cold winds.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 021

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Snow insulates and protects sprouting bulbs and awakening perennials, helping them through these last weeks of winter.  Like mulch, it helps maintain a more even soil temperature so plants don’t ‘heave’ up out of the ground during the freeze/thaw cycle.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 001

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Our ground water is replenished from melting snow.  But so are our potted plants.  Plants can’t absorb water very well from frozen soil.  But melting snow waters plants and helps thaw out the soil when it melts in the mid-day sun.  Without snow, hardy annuals and perennials living in pots through the winter may dehydrate on sunny days, especially when it is windy.

I often water our pots with warm tap water on wintery days when there is no snow cover, just to give the plants a chance to re-hydrate.  I’ve also applied a dilute solution of Neptune’s Harvest, in warm water, to offer a little boost of minerals to help our pots make it through winter’s last ‘Hurrah.’

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 028

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Snow cover helps certain fruit bearing trees, bulbs, and perennials maintain the periods of extended cold they need in order to grow.   Gardeners in regions with gradually warming climates find that some plants no longer get their required ‘chilling hours.”  This means replacing old reliable plants with different cultivars adapted to the warmer climate and fewer hours of freezing temperatures.  Our extended periods of snow this winter help those plants which need the cold as part of their annual pattern of growth.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 023

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We humans are extremely adaptable, and stubbornly tough.  We find work-arounds for all sorts of frustrating circumstances.  We will deal with this coming winter storm, and the next, and will learn some useful life lessons in the process.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 011

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May spring find you sane, healthy and soon.

But until this winter passes, please remember to stop to appreciate the beauty of it all.

And keep in mind that snow brings its blessings along with its frustrations.

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February 25, 2015 snow melt 016

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“The world as we have created it

is a process of our thinking.

It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

.

Albert Einstein

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

16 responses to “Snow and More Snow

  1. Hello, Many thanks for having explained in a beautiful way both sides of the swow and I think that is true with all other things.It was a good lesson. Best regards

    • Thank you so much, Martina, for your kind comment 😉 You are right that nearly everything has both positive and negative aspects. It is all in how we tell ourselves the story…. Thank you for visiting Forest Garden 😉 Best wishes, WG

  2. Being a Winter baby, I really like our Winter months, WG, and freshly laid snow is such a beautiful sight.

    It is so pleasing to read a post that gives some positivity for our winter and the weather she brings us. Yes, it can be a nuisance, but I find the hot humid conditions that our Summer brings a real nightmare, but I’m guessing they to bring much needed supplies for some of our plant life.

    • Thank you, Hugh! And thank you for taking time to answer all of the wonderful comments your guest post received! You’ve been busy. We got about 8 more inches overnight. We lost some small shrubs because this has been a very heavy, wet snow. We’ve done all we can for today, and the temps have gone above freezing for a few hours. I agree with you on summer heat and humidity. At least now I can add sweaters, socks, and make a cup of tea to be comfortable. There is only so much one can take off in the summer time 😉 The heat here is a really difficult issue for several months each summer. At least we’ve been blessed with adequate rain. Best wishes, WG

      • Exactly, my thoughts as well, WG. If one is cold, then add layers. If one is too hot, then take layers off but, alas, there is only so far we can go with that without getting arrested.

        I’m hoping our Summer will be kind to us this year. For the last few years she has only bought with her the humidity and, as just about all houses in the UK do not come with air con, that is not good when trying to get a good nights sleep.

        Wishing you a lovely peaceful and happy weekend. 🙂

        • When I lived in Scotland in the 60s we had neither AC, heat, nor refrigeration. It was a tiny and ancient flat in an old brownstone. Homes like that are quite complicated to retro-fit for the wiring and duct work necessary, too. One just managed. We had a tiny coal burning fireplace in the living room to heat the entire flat. But with the shifts in climate, changes are required. It is the same in our Northwest, near the Puget Sound, where few homes have AC. But now summers are far warmer there as well. We think the humidity is much harder to cope with than is the actual heat; but the sun is far more intense as well than ever before. As the poles continue their shift, the trend will continue. The exceptionally warm spring this year in the UK and Europe tells me the summer will prove ‘interesting.’ Back in the day, I survived un-airconditioned VA summers by taking lots of cool baths! Daughter swears by running an electric fan over a basin of cool water. Makes one appreciate rainy days, too 😉

  3. I love snow, it’s so beautiful!! We had 2 inches on Monday evening and this afternoon it started snowing around 5:00 and we already have gotten 2 inches. It’s really coming down hard and is suppose to snow all night til around 8:00 in the morning. They are predicting 10 to 14 inches of snow for us!! I hope you guys don’t get too much, stay warm!! 🙂

    • That is a lot of snow, Michael! You guys stay warm and enjoy the view. I hope your trees all make it this time and your power stays on. We got 2-3″ last night, but the roads cleared out by mid-day and we got out for a while. Ours should start later this evening and snow through most of tomorrow. Let me know tomorrow how much snow fell overnight. Sure has been a winter to pull out the full winter wardrobe! Best wishes, WG

      • Yes… too much!! I hope the trees make it too. I finally got all of the down tress cut yesterday afternoon. I hope you guys don’t get too much! Just turned on the flood light and checked, we now have 4-1/2 inches!

        • We turn on the lights to watch it, too 😉 Have you ever made ice cream from freshly fallen snow and condensed milk? My mother used to make ‘snow cream’ for us sometimes. Glad you got the trees cut up, and hope that is the end of it for the season. How are the walnut slabs coming along? Does all of this wet weather slow the drying process? No snow here…. yet….. Giant hugs, WG

          • Yes, we like to make the ice cream too but have not made it this year. I actually checked the slabs last night and they were only at 18% moisture, we still have some way to go. Yes, the humidity slows the drying. We ended up with 8 inches from last night plus the 1 or more that was on the ground already!! Be safe if you travel!

            • No traveling around here, Michael. We also got about 8″, and then it kept on snowing into the early afternoon. We have a very heavy, wet snow, and we’ve lost a Pyracantha and lots of limbs. We have power and heat, and I managed to clear off the deck with my partner cleared off the cars and other things. I was up and down all night watching it after around 3:30. So beautiful here! But it will be several days before we can get out of the community. Hope your power is on and that you are both keeping warm 😉 WG

  4. One learns to see the good in things, particularly if the lesson keeps repeating! 😉 Happy snow-day!

  5. Thanks for reminding me how much I love the snow. I always have. Whether living in the city (Winnipeg to Toronto to Brooklyn) or the country (Olathe KS) I have always loved it when it’s snowing, the quiet, clean purity of it. And now of course I love it for its garden benefits. It’s known as the “poor man’s mulch” for a reason. And we definitely have not had enough of it this year. So…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

    • 😉 Everyone loves the first snow of the season. It is hard to see people having difficulty getting around in it, but watching it fall makes me smile. ‘Poor man’s mulch,” that is a new one 😉 Thank you for your kind comment. Best wishes, WG

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