Boyce, you left out the bone-chilling -11° F degrees in our area, and the weeks of single digits, and the 4 days at 0° F. Our temperature swings haven't been as grotesque as Jim Waddick's more on he order of 30-35 degrees--but It's not like gardening on the West Coast. I think that your average tempearure of 25.5° is due to being closer to the lakefront the lakefront, and topography which protects the garden from more northerly winds. Your snowfall also was lesser than in my yard, just 15 miles from We easily had 2 feet on the ground from time to time. I think some of your temps were the official ones recorded at O'Hare, yes? Does the Botanic Garden keep weather records?