Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Love! Even Two Feet of It

The redbud casts a bewitching shadow

Snowpocalypse, or whatever you want to call the blizzard of February 2011, has dumped about two feet of snow on us.  After digging ourselves out and the sore arms that went with it, I'm still in love with snow.  Why?  I love the sight, sound, and feel - all of it.  I"m an addict, I'll admit.  As a gardener, I did some research on why snow is good for us.

1). Snow insulates.  It keeps soil temperatures from fluctuating, so those borderline plants have a better shot at making it.  In general, under a blanket of snow, soil temperatures can be as much as two degrees warmer for each inch of snow accumulation as compared to air temperature. That can be quite a bit warmer, especially when our night time temps can be in the negatives. It also means that perennials will be less likely to heave out of the ground in our usual freeze/thaw cycle.

2). Snow conserves soil moisture.  Our evergreens, especially, benefit from moist winter soils.  It keeps them from losing too much water through their needles and becoming damaged. 

3). Snowmelt percolates slowly through the soil, gradually watering our plants.

4). The landscape looks pretty gorgeous in new fallen snow.  I find that our huge spruces and pines take center stage in snow.  Winter sun casts amazing new shadows on snow.  All those perennials I left up take on new dimension, especially the grasses.

Will I get sick of it pretty soon?  Probably.  Yet, my trees will be nicely watered in early spring!

So crisp, so clean

That hydrangea is really about three feet high
 and finally something covered the darn gas meter

Somewhere under all that are the retaining walls. 
The Stanwell Perpetual roses on either side of the steps will
 be very happy with the snow melt!

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