Winter in Maryland

Jim McKenney
Wed, 07 Feb 2007 09:43:08 PST
The weather this week has repeatedly threatened to earn us our zone 7 rating
by dropping overnight into the low teens. Lows of 8ºF were predicted earlier
this week, but it didn’t happen: it might have been as cold as 13ºF or 15ºF,
so this is so far still technically a zone 8 winter. On the other hand, the
overnight lows don’t tell the whole story. Daytime temperatures have not
been above freezing for days.  

It was with a real sense of trepidation that I uncovered this morning the
most protected of the cold frames, the one with things such as Nerine,
Leucocoryne, some Oxalis and other dubiously hardy plants. I only took a
quick look, but everything I noticed looks fine. Those North American
Fritillaria which are so advanced (about the only thing left for them to do
is grow a bit taller, tilt their buds and bloom) also look fine. There is a
plant of Ipheion ‘Alberto Castillo’ just about to bloom.  As long as it’s
sunny, I keep this frame open a crack to avoid too much heat building up. On
a day like today, although the official air temperature is still below
freezing, the sun is warm on the skin. 

I also checked another cold frame; this one is out in the open. This frame
houses Parma violets and some odds and ends. There is a big Arum korolkowii
in this frame (it has not bloomed here yet; the name used is the one under
which it was received). The foliage of the Arum is down curved and looks
hard. I didn’t open this frame. 

Daytime temperatures are predicted to be above freezing for the rest of the
week,  and overnight lows will probably not be below 20º F – that’s more
like it for this time of year. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Lachenalia liliflora
has started to bloom under the plant lights indoors.
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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