Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Bit Of Snow




That's all we got...a bit of snow. Please, don't misunderstand,  I am perfectly happy that we don't get snow like you gardeners north of us do!


But,  a bit of snow was all we got...nothing to blanket the Nashville gardens with warm insulation when the arctic blast hit us with a one two punch!

It's a good thing I left all the leaves on the beds.  They are  blanketing  the ground and protecting  the plants from January's arctic blasts.

It's a little dance this garden and I do every year.   Will the leaves get mulched or not!  The first leaves fall and I mulch them  and carefully place them on the beds.  All at once, there are leaves everywhere; then winter  arrives too early bringing rain.  

So far, I have never lost a perennial to wet smothering leaves!  Or winter freezes.   

Each spring the daffodils
 

and wildflowers  


Phacelia bipinnatifida

poke through the leaf layers and the garden party starts anew.

This fall we'll dance again.

Gail

My friends, do you dance with your gardens?

60 comments:

  1. I'm not sure dancing is the right word but I dont think I'm in charge at all!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, yes, there's always a dance of some sort in our garden. Nothing got mulched this past fall as I was preparing for surgery so busy writing lots of articles in advance of my down time. Happily for the finicky things in our gardens (and there aren't too many), we've had heaps and heaps of snow, and that makes a fine insulation, as we're plunged back in the deep freeze yet again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I dance with my gardens (only when no one is looking:) I love the leaves for a mulch. They are the best-free and easy. Not the most attractive, but by the time the plants grow in you don't see the leaves anyhow. You captured the snow perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gail !!! I got in here EARLY !!! Can you believe THAT ???
    Gail !!!! You got SNOW !!!! Can you believe THAT ?? hahaha ..
    I leave my leaves on too, as extra protection .. but you will see Daffs so much earlier than I will.
    This is first thing in the morning so I am stretching every brain cell to think .. I better leave while I still have some dignity in my comment here .. BIG sigh ... more coffee !!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh yes, I dance with the garden until the cold pushes me inside. The garden is the most delightful dance partner. Never stepping on my toes. It is I that step upon his toes often. The poor Dear rarely complains.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have YET to see any snow and I'm going to pout about it! We are way over due for a good snow. :-( --Randy

    ReplyDelete
  7. P.S.
    Gail !!!!!
    I forgot to say ... YES !!!
    I do dance in my garden ... but my biggest aspiration is to dance at night in full moon light .. in a flowing white gown with beautiful white flowers in my hair ..
    Awwwwwwwwww ! I can dream can't I ??
    PS .. when it rains lightly .. that is a perfect moment too ! : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. I mulch--but it as much because I can't be bothered to clean up the leaves in the flower beds as it is for winter warmth. LOL!

    It looks like it's a "no snow" year for us, too. We've had little sprinkles of it that never even seem to hit the ground, and that;s it.

    Today the highs will be in the upper 70's. It's just not right. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  9. Even a dusting is pretty!

    Our snow is still here, but the sun is going to shine today. High's in mid-30s. It was a perfect, soft snow. My son and I walked 1 1/2 miles over the meadows and country lanes in our neighborhood yesterday afternoon. I knocked snow off of my salvia greggii for fear they were breaking under the weight. Same with the daphne and cryptomeria.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good morning Gail, you are always spot on with the metaphors and this is a favorite. The dance goes on, even while we are being wallflowers along the railing from inside the house. A bit of snow, that has not melted in going on the third day with below freezing temperatures, is all we got too. Did I mention how cold it is? 13F this morning. Hope your leaves do the job, I suspect there are going to be losses this year with this much cold for this long. Stay warm.
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  11. Leaves make a wonderful mulch, as does snow, fortunately for us! :) I don't wish a lot of snow for you, but I'm glad you've had a few flakes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If I danced with my garden my neighbors might think I'm crazier than they do already! That being said I can't wait for the spring dance to start. The leaves do make an effective mulch!

    ReplyDelete
  13. There is a dance in my garden, Gail. How did you know?! Here, it's the dance of when do I prune back my woody perennials? It's 70 here off and on now, those ugly dead sticks are such an eyesore and I'm so ready for everyone to put on their ballgowns and start showing off. But, the minute I get out my pruners, whooosh, in comes a random freeze that really hurts them if they've started to bud out again already. So, do I wait, take a chance? May I have this dance?!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like lots of leaf mulch too. The only good/bad thing about mulch is that seeds don't sprout. Flower seeds/bad. Weed seeds/good.
    Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  15. The one thing about dancing is, someone is supposed to lead, don't think that's been me with my gardens. A dusting of snow would be neat to see, I also agree about the gardeners up north. How do they stand it?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gail, You are becoming quite the poet--I have this image of dancing with my garden in my head now.

    We haven't had as much snow as usual this year, and I was just thinking during the bitter cold last week that I'm glad I have so many leaves covering up the plants. But I ran out of time, too--I didn't mulch and carefully spread the leaves--they blew there!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gail, the dance goes on... when to prune... when to plant. It's usually so warm here I want to get ahead of spring. Tonight it will freeze so I'm glad I've held off. No snow thank goodness.

    I like your pretty layer of white. Just enough.

    Leaves are my first choice of mulch. They're natural ... I like that look best. AND they provide the perfect breakdown for eventual compost in the beds. Your perennials appreciate the leaves for protection I'm sure. Try to stay warm by a cozy fire ... spring is around the corner.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Gail,
    Thats about as much snow as we got this year too.(-: We need rain but I don't see any forcast for us this week. )-:

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do dance, in and out of the patio door during the cold snaps. Darting outside to do a little bit, then racing back to the warmth.

    During the spring, and the summer, I slow waltz, lazily drifting through the perennials, watering, plucking, and placing.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  20. ha. I also dance. Although not the same dance from year to year. It changes as I learn new things/steps! Your dance works so I see why you repeat it. I am mulching more with leaves (tucked the foxglove seedlings in with leaves and secured them in place with netting) and I hope for good results. Time will tell, won't it? Dancing is good.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear Friends,

    I have been out all morning...trying to get enough exercise! Enough, being the resolution I am living by these days! But now for coffee and a good comments read! Hey, thanks for stopping by!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  22. Helen,

    Nature is definitely leading us across the floor! We can try to arrange the music but....
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  23. I allow the leaves to remain in my garden also. I think they give a nice coat for cold winter nights. That is why they call it Spring Clean up right? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jodi,

    I have this leaf debate every fall...thinking that I have time to get to them all. But life isn't always easy to schedule and with a wooded lot...the trees win! Those of us in middle Tennessee will just have to learn to love brown leaves all winter! I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and your comments here! So glad you are 'back in the blogging saddle'

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  25. Skeeter,

    Spring clean-up? What is that! That's the other dance...when to remove the leaves and will a frost show up right after wards! Here that music? There's always a dance.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  26. TIna,

    I had such fun last night! It was actually warmer in the hallway then in Botanic hall! Yep the leaves are free and do a great job! I liked the photo of the coach light...I am trying out my new camera...The learning curve is HUGE!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  27. JOy,

    Good morning...now it is a bit later and I am sure the brain is wide awake...me I went to the gym and am now on my second cup of coffee. That's our snow! So leaves become an important layer for this garden (and I am really lazy)! Now when you dance by the light of the moon...please have your Mr take photo! I want to see Joy dancing in joyful celebration of the moment!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lisa,

    Yes the garden doesn't mind our occasional clumsiness or when we (me) attempt to prune and cut off the wrong perfect bloom or branch! The cold is here again...it must be that much colder for you! Keep warm.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  29. I let the leaves fall where they may and leave them there. Does that count? lol

    We got a good amount of snow here -- 4-6". I'm sorry you didn't get more. It is beautiful and nice when you don't get it very often.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Randy,

    Is it possible to order it to just snow on the gardens and leave the streets clear and free of slippery patches! If so, that's what I want! I do hope you get a dusting...more is a pain (my opinion!)! Any green showing in your garden?

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  31. Susan,

    Sigh...seventies...It sounds good to feel that warmth and not have a heavy coat on, but I know it is confusing to plants. They want to bud and then there is that winter freeze that shocks the plants and us!

    I have a friend who can barely stand a leaf on any of her beds! I think she is very lucky to not have me as a neighbor!

    Enjoy your lovely day Susan....

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  32. Cameron,

    What a delightful day you must have had. I am glad he is near so you can walk and spend time together.

    The S greggiis are the plants I think I might lose. Not from smothering, but exposure to the 4 degree weather we had! I hope your snow is protecting them but not breaking them....we are still having tmps in the low twenties. I keep forgetting it's winter!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  33. Frances,

    Thank you for appreciating the dance metaphor...It was 17 when I woke up. No snow it was gone shortly after I took the photos. I do think we are going to lose some plants to the freezes. As I said to Cameron...a few salvias will be gone. Black and Blue for sure and the rosemary might not make it. The ground is crunchy when I walk on it and it will be nice and wet when it warms up. I know you are chomping at the bit to garden...I am, too. This really would have been a bad time to visit! Next month will be much better!
    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nancy,

    I so wanted to be able to participate in the first snow fall meme. So many lovely photos of snowy gardens. Maybe next year! But should we chance to have any snow accumulations I will run the flag up the posting pole and shout so you can hear me!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dave,

    The spring dance is wonderful. I can't wait either. Will you take the leaves off the beds this spring?

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  36. Diana,

    That is a dance! What will you do or really when will you do the pruning? We have a similar one with when you pull back the leaf mulch! Late frosts are such an issue we have names for them! Blackberry winter and dogwood winter! I have other names for them but this blog is rated G! Gail

    ReplyDelete
  37. Marnie,

    That's the dance! But I do the weed suppression and plant protection. Is your snow present all winter or does it melt?

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  38. Darla,

    I don't know how they do it...except that they have a beautiful spring, summer and fall! We couldn't move back to a winter landscape like most zone 5 gardens have. Well, we could if we needed to!

    How are things going for you?
    gail

    ReplyDelete
  39. Rose,

    I hope your snow doesn't come late...Wasn't last year like that or was it rain? I know winter seemed interminable for many gardeners. A little secret...I raked the remaining leaves off the paths onto the beds in December. That was the best I could do when we got hit with the winter rains.

    Rose that is a sweet compliment coming from an English teacher...I do need an editor, tho!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear meems,

    Hello...I was hoping the freeze would miss you! Will you blanket your favorites? I remember freezes in Tampa...Fantastic ice sculptures from sprinklers left on. That was before all the NetRad and weather channel information!

    Thank you for the well wishes. The fire is a good place to be? Do you have a fireplace? The other day we moved the couch and chairs aside and pulled a table in front of the fire and had take out supper club with friends. I made a salad, they brought the wine and entrees from a favorite restaurant.

    Keep warm and let's hope the freeze misses your garden.

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  41. Cindee,

    I hope you get rain..there is nothing worse then not enough rain for a garden. Snow would help..when it melts. I am wishing for snow/rain right to fall on your garden now!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  42. Kathleen,

    Yes, the dances are varied and fascinating to me! One year I wanted a cleaner look and I had the leaves removed, it did look cleaner but it was a hard winter for plants. There are always new steps to learn in the garden dance....sometimes I am a slow learner. I love knowing how others move about their garden and what works for them. I am mulling over the netting, but then remembered your 60 mph winds. I would anchor them, too!

    Keep warm.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  43. Jen,

    What a pretty picture of dancing across the garden! I love your winter dance of a dart here and there and the warmer days bringing a slow waltz. Beautiful.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sweetbay,

    Yep it counts! I only rake them off the paths so that they can be somewhat contained. Other wise they blow all over the yard and pile up in corner. Well they do that anyway!

    Yes one nice snowfall would be perfect...then it can go away! But since we are getting this freezing weather on and off...your garden will be safer.

    Keep warm. I am with dreams of spring.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  45. Do I dance with the garden.....of course, I do. I also dance with the bees....but doesn't everybody Gail?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Gail, There's always a dance going on out there! Sometimes it's a slow waltz, sometimes it's a polka-dot polka, and occasionally it's no-holds-barred, wild-foot-stomping excitement (as in seeing my second planting of "The Rocket" ligularia growing and thriving in its new home last Spring!!) ha! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Gail, that's not snow, that looks like frozen fairy dust - just the sort of thing that causes advanced pixilation (and perhaps garden dancing). I'm sitting on the gym bench under 3 feet of snow waiting for my Prince Thaw to find me. I can hardly wait for the music to begin again.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I hate it when we get such small amounts of snow. I prefer that we get amounts that need to be snowblowed all at once. I suppose it's not really something I can plan for though.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Cinj,

    We have a snow shovel that never gets used for snow but it works very well for leaves that are wet and on the driveway. We will never need a snow blower...I bet Cheesehead loves that toy! Gail

    ReplyDelete
  50. Barbara,

    I hope your Prince arrives soon and brings spring with him. It sounds like you need a break from the cold and snow! I like that...fairy dust...it really was just a bit of snow!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  51. Shady,

    I want to see you polka-ing around the garden! Lucky you to be able to grow ligularia...it is a beautiful plant that likes moisture...and your garden.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  52. Cheryl,

    I am convinced that if world leaders danced with the bees and in their gardens there would be less strife in our world!

    In the mean time all you dancers find your partners!

    gail

    ReplyDelete
  53. Well I regularily dance IN my garden...does that count? Kim

    ReplyDelete
  54. Luckily we don't have such problems, of course they come in various other forms, but great that you do and patiently wait for the colors to peek out. It's always a surprise, waiting beneath!

    ReplyDelete
  55. we got the same little flurries. the birds didn't seem to mind.
    i sometimes feel like i am in a tango with my garden, still a love/hate relationship just because there is so much to do.

    ReplyDelete
  56. p.s. gail, i loved your photos of the light veil of snow and the spring faithfuls from last year.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Gail,
    There's a disco party going on out there in our garden among the leaves ... we used to faithfully mulch them with the mower and then spread on the garden, but now, lazy sorts we are, we just let them stay until spring, providing protection and composting down into the soil. We do rake some in early spring, but most remain.

    They look really cool when speared by the early bulbs, the crocus and then the daffs ... But it's going to be a while before we see any of those with the snow cover here!

    Yours was a "cool and cute" snow, one that doesn't last long, but looks pretty while it's around. Doubt if we'll see any more of those around here until next fall, lol.

    IVG

    ReplyDelete
  58. I never know what to do about the leaves either. I ususally compost the ones that are in the way (i.e. on paths or covering shrubs) and leave the rest due to a combo of laziness and justification that they provide protection. They also are a good hiding place for slugs and snails in my garden, alas! But other, better garden residents also use them to over-winter, so I guess it must even out. Right? Right?? :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Good morning Gail, there's plenty of fancy footwork that goes on here over the garden. There's the dance between water conservation and keeping stuff alive in our tangle of maple roots for one.

    And then there are the dances with the Lawn Man over how much of this place gets to stay lawn and how much of it gets to become garden, and the dance over our overgrown foundation landscape.

    This fall I led the dance over the leaves and they got to stay in the beds. Even the ones in the lawn got mulched instead of ending up in yard waste bags according to past practice. The Lawn Man, being pleased with how much easier and cheaper fall cleanup was this year, is a convert to a new dance style now.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Gail, you have to love mulch that falls from the sky, er trees. I usually run the mulching mower over the leaves on my lawn, to break them into small pieces, and let most of the ones in the garden beds form a natural blanket. In the spring I pull them back from the plants, if they are too thick in areas. Some extra leaves get to decompose at the side of my house.

    You must have only made a teeny tiny snowman.

    ReplyDelete

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails