Certainly, there is trouble ahead, there must be, despite reports from forecasters that no temperatures below mid teens (Fahrenheit) are expected in the seven weeks until spring (the gardener’s spring, March 1). Though today is gray, damp, and dreary, it is also mild. It is exaggerated to claim that the garden is filled with flowers, but not overstated that there are blooms at every turn. This afternoon, a small frog leaped for safety as I walked past. In January.
What trouble lies ahead? Is it possible that the wire netting bushes (Corokia microphyllus)) wil not require winter protection? Or, anise shrubs (Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Frost’) and fatsia (Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’) that are likely to be over promised as hardy to zero?
Of course, this cannot last, can it? It seems impossible that there will not be some Arctic freeze, a coating of ice, or deep piles of snow before winter is past. Most likely, there will be weeks of these very typical events to put an end to thoughts of the rare mild winter. But, there’s hope, and how can the gardener be disappointed?
Yes, I know, there is grave concern about climate warming. But, in recent years there have been scattered days below zero after two decades when there were none. If next year and the next are overly mild, I’ll be concerned, but not today.