False Spring

A better title might be, Nature Plays a Cruel Joke.

Fifty degrees here in Little Rhody today, and again tomorrow. Hallelujah!

Right?

Yeah…. maybe. Until you look a little beyond to the single-digit lows forecast for the weekend.

I know, I know… I sound so ungrateful. But, hear me out – it’s not that I don’t love this tiny respite from winter, but too warm this early can do a lot of damage. Growing things that have come through this brutal year like champs can be fooled into breaking dormancy too soon, only to be felled by the next Arctic blast. The ice is nearly gone from the pond, thanks to our recent rains and the influx of snowmelt, but that doesn’t mean it will be clear for the rest of the season…

…Even with both the inflow and outflow running full-bore. Just hope my fish are still ok.

Concerns aside, a mid-winter thaw is a good time to take a walk around and check on the things that have been buried in snow since late December.

Things are looking pretty good in the herb garden. The thyme is still going strong, at least for the moment. This is one that baffles me – I’ve had an herb bed in this spot for several years now, and the same varieties of thyme in the exact same places have died on me in MUCH milder winters. I have no idea what’s different this year… but I’ll take it!

Not all of the snow has vanished, as you can see from this picture of the garlic bed. This is one I never worry about – just like daffodils and snowdrops, garlic has some sort of natural anti-freeze in its veins. A bigger concern is water-logged soil, which can rot the bulbs. Not an issue in this bed…

Well, here’s a pleasant surprise! The cold-tolerant lettuce mix I planted last fall is still alive. With a little bit of sunshine, I might have salad again soon.

Wonder if I still have the pieces of that storm-smashed cold frame?

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