Blooming now/Weather changes

Kathleen Sayce
Sun, 01 Feb 2009 19:55:59 PST
I'm several hundred miles north of Mary Sue, and here we have seen  
more erratic weather than normal. Our rainfall is close to normal  
levels for this time of year, but it is coming in intense clumps,  
with prolonged dry intervals between. So, 2-3 weeks of snow and temps  
in the 20s in December, then a break. Rain, rather a lot, in early  
January, then a break. More snow, then a break, more rain, and then,  
several weeks of dry clear weather. It's been lovely from a human  
point of view, as sun in the middle of winter always is on the PNW  
coast, but where's the steady rain and snow to recharge mountain  
storage, lowland aquifers, and everything in between? Not here, clearly.
Most years I would say this area is zone 8 (which is the USDA's  
determination), a few years it's zone 9, and this year, I think it's  
leaning to zone 7. I'm planning to build a suitable 'protected cold  
frame, if only to have a spot to hold those zone 9 species I can't  
keep myself from trying, when zone 7 winters roll in.

As for flowers, a few crocus and snowdrops are in flower, and lots of  
shoots hint that many others are on their way. I've gardened  
intensely at this location since the early 1980s, and have seen  
'peak' spring bloom range from March to May, and only one other  
winter (1985) when winter temperatures were this low. So this year it  
will be very interesting to see what happens when.


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