Coping with Cold

Judy Glattstein
Tue, 01 Apr 2003 16:14:23 PST
I've heard it said that spring moves in our direction at a rate of 13
miles/day. So the differences between New York City and
Connecticut seem right on. Local variations, microclimates, are
often interesting, in the sense of astonishing. When I gardened in
Wilton Connecticut a friend's garden less than 10 or so miles
away in Georgetown Connecticut was consistently colder, about
6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit. So Ellie had earlier frost in fall, and later
frost in spring. Prior to that garden I lived in Norwalk Connecticut,
closer to Long Island Sound. The move to Wilton, 8 miles inland
and behind the Merritt Parkway's ridge made a large difference
between those two gardens. (The second one had that quasi-
mythical high organic, moist yet well drained soil. How I hated
to leave! Now I'm in western New Jersey, just a couple of miles from
the Delaware River. So further south, but with clay soil.

Orientation, solar orientation that is, is another major factor in my
opinion. Yesterday's snow squall left a dusting of snow on the
ground. By early (8:30 a.m.) morning the snow was gone from the
sunnier side of the road, still present on the shady side (where,
naturally, our house and garden are located.) Sometimes this shadier
site is helpful. Cooler conditions keep slightly tender plants from
premature growth that gets nailed by a frost - Arisaema ringens has
not been slapped back because it sensibly waits to emerge, influenced
by the generally cooler conditions.

Judy at Bellewood Garden

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