African Garden + [Weather]

Oh, Spring, Where Art Thou?

Just when you thought it was safe to put away the snowshovels and snowboots comes a nasty storm out of the west. MA in the mountains in Idaho might have been surprised by it, but here on the flatlands, we could metaphorically see it coming a mile away. Before the storm, things were coming up in the garden,
Thalictrum/Anemonella thalictroides

Erythronium albidum

Dicentra 'Zestful'

Stylophorum diphyllum

and the Hellebores (here H. niger)

(H. x orientalis)

and Hepatica acutiloba had started to bloom.

All are now covered in a thick, wet blanket of snow. While Carol and Cindy may write blog posts in their heads while gardening, I don't, because I sing when I garden (I have very tolerant, or possibly deaf, neighbors). But it's hard to sing when shoveling 6 inches of heavy, wet snow with slush underneath, what we in Chicagoland call "heart attack snow." So I was thinking about how differently this storm is affecting me from how it is affecting those further south, such as Dee in Oklahoma, who was busy covering things up. I, by contrast, found myself uncovering things, such as my Aborvitaes (Thuja occidentalis).

Heavy snow this early in the spring isn't a problem in Chicagoland for flowers and perennials. The danger comes from the snowload on the branches of trees and of evergreen shrubs.

While I was shoveling, I heard a crack. Looking up, I saw a huge branch break off a Boxelder (Acer negundo, Manitoba Maple, That Crappy Looking Thing) and fall into my neighbor's yard.

Ditching the shovel, I trudged through the snow in the back garden armed with a broom to rescue my young Redbud (Cercis canadensis), which was completely bent over from the weight of the snow. No photo, this was a horticultural emergency. One of my Boxelders had also lost a large branch.

This storm carried a double whammy, there was ice under the snow, making it hard to get all the snow off of the Thujas.

It is almost April, so this snow won't last much beyond tomorrow afternoon. It's just not much fun today. Nobody feels like making an Easterbunny snowman.