What Happens Without Winter: Part 1
Since apparently we are not going to have a winter this year, and my entire yard is convinced that we are part way through March and headed into April, I thought it was about time I got back to my gardening posts. I’m a little unclear on where this will all end up, and I confess I’m more concerned than excited by the fact that we appear to be headed for spring two months early.
The lowest temperature we’ve gotten so far this year in the “city” was 14 degrees, which was a shock, but is no where near as cold as it is supposed to get around here in the wintertime. But it hasn’t just been warm. The weather this winter has been verging on schizophrenic, or at least bipolar. Let me recap the weather since New Year’s for you:
January 1st: 59 degrees, overcast and rainy
January 2nd: 47 degrees, sunny
January 3rd: 32 degrees, sunny
January 4th: 37 degrees, sunny (this was the night we hit our low of 14 degrees)
January 5th: 52 degrees, sunny
January 6th: 68 degrees, sunny
January 7th: 66 degrees, sunny
January 8th: 60 degrees, sunny
January 9th: 32 degrees, overcast; rain in the morning, snow in the afternoon
January 10th: 55 degrees, sunny
I just want to emphasize that five of the last 10 days have had high temperatures at 55 degrees or above. And then notice that the days between those oven temperatures were COLD AND GROSS. Well, yesterday was, anyway, until it started snowing and I could pretend for a brief hour or so that it was actually winter. Then it went back to gross.
So here is my concern: I currently have crocuses in my yard that are 1 1/2 inches tall. I have daffodils that are 4 inches tall. I have allium coming up. Allium! I have siberian irises, tulips, and hyacinth marching gloriously into their season. Except that it isn’t time yet! We have a month and a half of potentially frigid, miserable weather before these little beauties are supposed to emerge from the earth. What happens to 4 inch daffodil stalks when the world dumps sub-teen temperatures on them? Do allium bloom in February?
This is probably the first time in my life I have ever been unhappy to see tiny bulb tips peeping out of dry winter soil. I can only hope that Nature is smarter than I am, and these little pockets of plant life will hold back until it really is safe. After all, they are smart enough to pull themselves down through the soil to their preferred depths, and to save up their energy all winter so that they can burst into song in spring.