Winter’s Encore

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Lest we forget that coastal Virginia has not yet become tropical, winter returned for an encore early this morning.  Wind whipped out of the north most of the day.  At least we didn’t see snow when the sun rose this morning.


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Balmy days in March lulled us into believing the promises of springtime.  Dogwoods opened as though it were mid-April already.  Wisteria blankets the trees along country roads, and Azalea shrubs have burst into bright Easter egg colors.


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Ferns unfold their delicate fronds and tender perennials have tentatively opened their first new leaves of the season.  Our roses have produced their first flush of tiny flower buds.


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We were thrilled to discover our figs survived this winter past, new leaves and tiny fruits bursting from last year’s wood.  But that may all change over night.


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What is this sadistic weather roller coaster that has hi-jacked the jet stream?  Why the Arctic blast after weeks of sunny warmth?


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We started early this morning bringing plants back in to the relative warmth of our garage.  I went out, before the coffee was made, to investigate what had sent our wind chimes beneath the deck madly ringing.  It was a chair blown over, hitting them on the way down.  Brrr!

The wind chill had returned us to February, and we began bringing in those pots and baskets still sheltering under the deck.  Despite the blazing sun, today brought relentless wind and cold .


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It was after five when we finally covered those tender pots we couldn’t move, stretched large bags over a few tender shrubs, and agreed we had made our best efforts.

Will it freeze here tonight?  We’ll know by morning.  Then we’ll enjoy a few more days of warmth before the freezing cold returns this weekend.

Our frost free date here in Zone 7 remains April 15.  While it may be unusual to have wintery cold so deep into April, we have to remember it can happen.  April snow  rarely falls in our area, but flurries greeted neighbors to our north and west this morning.


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It may look like spring in our garden, but winter is making an encore this week.  We trust that those leaves and flowers unfolding now will survive her frosty touch.


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Woodland Gnome 2016


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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

18 responses to “Winter’s Encore

  1. Glad to hear you made it through this cold snap! Some damage here, but the biggest casualty was my spring fever… I’m back in winter mode and all I do is mope around wishing it would warm up!

    • Frank, we just had that conversation over dinner. Winds howling today and so cold, even in the winter clothes again! We just hope to not have a hard freeze again tonight. Our figs were the most damaged earlier in the week. We were very pleasantly surprised to see how good most things looked the following morning. Now…. we just need to get through tonight without damage, and ‘smooth sailing’ ahead until late fall 😉

  2. I hate it when this happens ! We had quite a mild Winter but then a few weeks ago we got frost all of a sudden while we were travelling in the States………grrrr ! I want to start working in the garden !!! now !!!

    • I hope you didn’t suffer too much damage from the late frost. Vendors here have sold tomatoes and summer herbs since early March. Can you imagine planting tomatoes this early??? At least the most reputable greenhouse/ nurseries in the area are publishing clear warnings to not plant too early, and how to protect what you’ve already set out. Hope you enjoyed your trip to the States. Where did you visit?

      • Over here planting tomatoes in March is asking for problems, unless you have a heated greenhouse ! We start planting tomato plants mid May and even then we have to be carefull ! We sure did enjoy our trip to the States, we travelled through Arizona, Started in Vegas, the Flagstaff and the South, it was already 28 C° there !!!!

        • I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip! That is a beautiful part of the country- but totally different from our lush East coast. Next time, come to Virginia! April and October prove our best months for visitors. We never planted our tomatoes out until late April or early May- I suppose you can keep them going indefinitely with a heated greenhouse…. How nice that would be 😉

  3. It was an interesting weekend and early week, that’s for sure. We woke up to an inch or so of snow on the ground and in the trees and shrubs yesterday. Sunday was all about the crazy wind with 50 and 60 mph gusts. Today it’s warm and spring-like again after a frosty (20 degree) morning. I haven’t had a chance to get out yet and see what last night’s cold might have wrought.

    Your spring images are all so beautiful. 🙂

    • Thank you, Robin. I was thinking of you two yesterday morning when I saw snow over the Shore. I’m sorry you got a hit of late snow and hope you won’t find much damage. Have your plants begun to leaf out much this spring? It just stayed cold last spring, and most everything remained dormant until later in April here. Looks like the craziness continues for the next several days. I hope all is well with you, ❤ ❤ WG

  4. Crazy weather keeps us on our toes.

    • Indeed it does! If only the west coast heat could balance out this record cold in the east. We dipped to around 31 for a few hours, but we haven’t found any frost damage thus far 😉 Thanks for visiting! WG

  5. Oh, I do hope you are spared a killing frost. It would be such a travesty to destroy such beauty.
    As for us, the snow remains and last night and this coming will reach the low teens. Winter is definitely having an encore!

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