Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mild Winter, so far!

I'm pretty happy with our winter weather so far. It seems odd that so far, our biggest snowfall was in October. Snow is not good on the greenhouse, of course. Turning the heat on melts the snow off and it accumulates on the sides. We have to shovel that snow away, since the buildup of snow could eventually cause the sides to collapse. So less snow means less shoveling, which suits us. Since having the greenhouses, I have noticed that the majority of snowfalls occur overnight.

I also enjoyed the snow fog after the recent snowfall. Everything is quiet, white and kind of mysterious. I remember snow fog growing up in Mt. Gretna - perhaps because of the trees. Our back corner of the yard is still very wet. Will it ever dry out? When it gets cold, the standing water freezes and I can see all types of interesting things trapped in the ice. All sorts of leaves and twigs and frosted blades of grass frozen there in a kind of life-sized snow globe effect.

The relatively mild weather really has me thinking of spring and I'm seeing signs throughout the yard. Our witch hazel has bloomed with its tiny yellow and red flowers in January, several weeks earlier than its typical February bloom. Both the star magnolia and pussy willow have big, fat buds. I'm surprised at how much is green in the gardens. Pretty little salad burnet has not died off and there's still green parsley, cutting celery and chamomile. There's new green shoots of chives and new growth on bronze fennel, poppies, snapdragons, and reseeded cornflowers which never died off. All the outdoor rosemarys have survived up to this point. I always tell people to let cilantro reseed when it flowers to get a second crop as the weather cools off. With all the rain, I had a bumper crop in the fall. With the mild weather, it produced through December, and even now has some good green growth. All of this is soothing when I get antsy for spring.

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