Sunday, February 6, 2011

How Much Snow is Too Much?

I don't know if I have lost my tolerance for winters because I have already moved my soul to Florida, but this winter seems like a test to all in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region of the country. Philadelphia has had more snow so far this year than just any other year on record. If this were the end March or April then there would be nothing further to discuss. The reality that we are barely starting February and another major storm is anticipate Thursday, is something to concern gardeners and all others alike.

The garden has really gotten pounded. Everything is on its side, squashed, or broken. Normally, I manage to get out in the garden with a broom and shake of the snow off to keep the plants from caving under. This year, I have had the flu or cold or whatever you want to call it and have not been able to keep up with any of my usual snow clearing duties. Normally this time of year it is cold but I start pruning and cleaning up beds because we can have odd nice sunny days with warmish cold weather between 45-50 (like it is today). Unfortunately, I am worn out with this flu. I guess this is why some people move to warmer climes, they just get worn out. I am feeling a bit like my garden. I am trying to get up but just can't quite make it.

The recovery from this weather in the garden will be tough going. It will require propping up plants that are not beyond recovery until they regain their vertical stance. Many will require minor pruning and some will require major pruning. Some will have to be cut to the ground if not pulled out entirely. At this point, I advise against doing anything more than uncovering them from the snow or whatever ice has hardened them to the ground as has happened in my garden.
Many of my roses were staked to create particular floral patterns. The one above bloomed along two arches that seemed to create a half circle. In some ways this one is better than most as it has been flattened to the ground. So when I can, I will reattach it and try to recreate the visual effect for house sale time this Spring.

It has taken quite a bit of effort keeping the pond from freezing over. The nearby lakes are totally iced over. I would not mind having a small rink in my backyard if it weren't for the Kois. The would die high concentration of the methane gas created by rotting leaves on the bottom kept in by a solid layer of ice. I have run the pond filter round the clock not allowing it to ice over so the methane will escape.

I have been holding putting the house on the market until the garden would reel in potential buyers this Spring. I guess, it will probably still happen, but the garden will not be up to its past splendor. I guess, they won't know what it looked like them and will quite happy to have it in any state - I would! Happy Gardening.

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