Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Interruptus: Snow on Vermont Flowers

Oh joy. I woke up to some unexpected snow here in St. Albans, Vermont this morning.

Slush on some of my flowers in St. Albans, Vt this morning.
Daffodils slumped under the weight of the slush. Some pots of peonies that my sister and brother in law gave me as a generous gift just yesterday so I could plant them today  are braving clumps of wet snow against the new spring shoots.

It happens, it seems, every time we have a very early spring, like this year.  Don't ask me how, but I remember that the springs of 1976, 1998, 2002 and 2010 started out hot and sunny and bloomed early, turned green prematurely, just like this one.

And in each case, it snowed and frosted and winterized after things bloomed. Often there was damage. In 2002, leaves on some of the trees died, and had to start over. There were ugly black-ish patches on the spring hillsides. In 2010, I got 16 inches of snow at the end of April, and the leafed out trees broke and buckled uner the weight.

Three days later, a Saturday, it was back up to 80 degrees, and I was picking up the mess near snowbanks, sweating in  just a pair of shorts, watching the sky as a thunderstorm approached. Then, a week later, I found myself mowing a lawn that was covered with half an inch of snow. Yeah, it was a bit odd watching chopped grass and slush gush from the side of the lawn mower.
My sister and brother in law gave me these peonies
to plant as a gift yesterday. This morning, they were
covered in snow. 

There wasn't enough snow in my yard this morning to damage any plants. But a windy nor'easter is due tonight, with heavy rain, and perhaps a bit of sleet. And they're predicted a hard, damaging freeze toward Friday or Saturday.  Maybe the lilacs won't bloom as a result, or the leaves on the trees will have to try again. We'll just have to wait and see.

Spring weather in Vermont has always been unpredictable. It's even worse lately. But in these topsy turvy springs, the plants either hang in there, or just cut their losses, die, and try again within a few weeks, somehow finding the energy to blossom twice in one year. Or they give up the ghost, only to greet the spring with blooming beauty the next year.

So at least the greenery out there is more resiliient than I am.

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