When I saw the snow coming down last night, I never imagined that it would still be on the ground this morning, much less this afternoon. I just assumed that it would all melt. If only! I certainly didn’t remember that it snowed on October 2 in 2002.
As with most of you, I was sure that I still had time to bring in my tropicals and plant my bulbs. I think the tropicals will survive and we can definitely still plant bulbs. The weather just means that we’ll freeze while we’re working.
Along the back east side of my property, I have a huge old crabapple into which climb two vines, a Clematis and a Dicentra scandens (Yellow Bleeding Heart). The Dicentra does not seem to have suffered although as I write this, it is snowing again.
Along the front east side, I have another old crabapple with an unusual sculptural trunk, the result of being shaded by an ancient elm that eventually succumbed to disease. Beside it is the golden foliage of Acer ‘Celebration’.
Some of my old fashioned chrysanthemums were just starting to bloom but they are usually not fazed by mild frosts so, hopefully, they will continue to bloom.
I received a call this morning from another gardening friend whom I met recently. We were discussing upright Ilex crenata and I suggested that she twine them tightly so they wouldn’t splay when full of snow (speaking from experience in my own garden, of course). Fortunately, she had twined hers shortly after we spoke. Mine are yet to be twined but seem to be relatively unscathed.
This friend also mentioned that two of her younger trees had split from the weight of the snow, a young hawthorn that was finally bearing fruit and a purple-leafed Redbud, Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’. I do remember the late, heavy snow in Cleveland in November 1996 that toppled three mature hawthorns in my yard. When most people would have despaired, I was singing the Hallelujah Chorus. I hated those hawthorns because the stink was unbearable when they bloomed each spring. Now I could replace them with a Redbud, a Heptacodium (that I had just seen for the first time the previous summer in the Netherlands), and a Tartarian Maple. So, think of disaster as an opportunity.