Percy Bysshe Shelley knew a thing or two about spring. His Ode to the West Wind ends with a hopeful phrase:
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
At Glen Villa, the answer seems to be yes, it can be. Far too far behind.
Is this April unseasonably cold? Perhaps not. But after a mild winter, and a few days of beautifully warm sunshine, my hopes were high. It seemed that the unawakened earth was awakening, with a spring in its foot.
Today, though, we are experiencing what weathermen charmingly call an Arctic Vortex. I simply call it cold, and I don’t like it. Temperatures fell a few days ago to -10C (14F) and the freezing cold came with high winds. Snow fell. Water that had been ice-free froze again.
Near the house, the cascade that was running freely is once again sporting its winter beard.
And the wind has been as punishing as Shelley describes, lifting dead leaves and trumpeting gales that prophecy winter rather than spring.
Hope remains. Despite the cold, the big lawn is snow-free, the grass ready to green up when spring finally does arrive. Under the linden tree, the wire mesh we installed last fall to protect newly planted muscari bulbs against marauding squirrels is still in place. In some years it would be gone by now, but everything this year is delayed because of the unexpected — and unwanted — cold.
The weather man says that the worst is yet to come — 5 cms (2 inches) of snow is predicted for tomorrow. I’m hoping he’s wrong.
It really has been the strangest winter. We can either cultivate resilience or throw a temper tantrum.
After trying resilience, I’m throwing tantrums. Not that it is doing any good…
Well, I’m making one last stab at clearing my desk, before I abandon it to a season of gardening.
Stab away… mine is cluttered as soon as it is cleaned.
It has been unseasonably cold here the past few days, and that has been especially shocking after the unseasonable warmth of March. I thought this was the week when I would get out and begin spring cleanup; oops, not yet!
It’s disappointing, isn’t it? I’m eager to start work but it’s not feasible. Soon, I hope.
It always seems so cruel to have a few warm days , before slipping back into winter! It all looks so pretty though
It is gradually warming up. Too slowly for me but at least the sun is shining!
We seem to be finally turning the corner from winter to spring weather this week. Hope you experience the same!
It is sunny today and warmer. Driving around Montreal I noticed that almost all the shrubs have been unwrapped. Do they wrap shrubs in Chicago? All the city gardeners seem to, and sometimes the wrappings look quite funny.
Wrapping shrubs is pretty uncommon here. Some of the more tender roses get cut back and buried in compost or mulch for the winter.
Now I’m curious. Do other places wrap their shrubs or is it only in Montreal? I’m going to ask around to see if wrapping has always been done here or if it is a plot by the hired gardeners mafia to make money. (I say that only partly in jest.) I can’t think that our winters are much worse than winters in Chicago … but maybe I’m wrong.