Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Snow Storm

As I mentioned in my last post, starting on Friday we've been living through a spring storm. This particular storm seemed mixed up - it couldn't decide if it was a sleet storm, a freezing rain/ice storm, a snow storm, or a thunderstorm, so it gave us a fair amount of everything.

Today the temperatures are back up in the upper 40's and the remaining precipitation of all forms, leftover on the ground, is starting to rapidly melt. I'm not sure how my plants are going to be affected for the year, though, since many had already started to leaf out significantly, some even to bud and flower. So I took a few photos this morning....

The daylily foliage looked transparent and glassy where it stuck above the snow mix. Daylilies are hardy plants and I'm sure they won't take any lasting damage...but how ugly will they be this spring? Will all of this lovely new growth crumple and wither as soon as it melts?

This clump of yellow tulips came with the house, but the first year we were here it was almost nonexistent. Each spring it's gotten fuller, healthier and sported many more blossoms. This year it was holding close to a dozen buds, surrounded by a healthy number of leaves. The tulip blooms had just started opening a day or two before the storm hit. I can see some breakage...what will the total damage be?

I rescued this lovely bunch of peonies from an old garden in the area that was due to be sold. The timing was such that I had to move them during the heat of the summer, so they looked bad for quite a while last summer, then finally gave up the ghost and died back. I thought I'd lost them for good. I was really excited when they came up so vigorously this spring, but now their early emergence isn't so positive anymore....

Throughout the yard, there are so many other plants affected that I can't begin to list them all here. This is a photo looking down my courtyard perennial bed: the Dames' rocket clump in the foreground is definitely bedraggled and the leaves on the lilacs and Amur maples look suspiciously fragile. Will we have lilac blossoms and maple seeds? How sparse or "burned back" will their leaves be? Buried under the snow at the foot of the lilacs are grape hyacinths, sprouts from variegated Solomon's seal, Lamium and assorted other perennials beginning to wake up from their winter rest. I'm incurably optimistic about plants' ability to survive, but only time will tell how well.


Kitt said...

We had the blizzard before you, on Thursday, with about a foot of snow in town. Today, 70 degrees and the snow is almost all gone. And all the green stuff? Looks a little mushed, but is already springing back up again.

Pretty much anything that leafs out or blooms early in the spring where we are has been long adapted to the possibility of snow.

Gaia Gardener: said...

That's what I'm counting on here too.

We made it up to 52 today and much of the snow is already gone this evening. I'll do an inspection tour in the morning and see how things are looking after a day of relative warmth.