Critters in the Community Garden
From Snow to Frost

We're in Snowland this Week

This week we are visiting friends and relatives on the East Coast. We worried that Thursday's snowstorm would last into Friday and cancel or delay our flight, but the storm stopped just in time for us to fly in clear skys.

There are 10-12 inches of snow here in Natick, Mass., with more, or perhaps freezing rain, due tomorrow. Not much horticulture going on here right now, but our friend did tell us that she had sprayed the rhododendrons and azaleas with an antitranspirant. This will slow water loss through the leaves during the winter, reminding us that frozen soil creates a drought for plants as real as the one created by lack of rainfall.

Our down jackets are keeping us pretty warm, but a hike down to the frozen pond to watch children play at ice hockey this afternoon was enough to remind me that I have become a subtropical being, no longer willing to suffer frozen and aching toes in order to enjoy a "winter wonderland."

_dscsnowstairs39_copy I've been taking pictures of snow on gardens and in woods, and of the picture perfect Cape Cod houses with their holiday decorations and snow-covered roofs and garden. Californians will appreciate how exotic it feels to be here in the middle of a neighborhood that looks like this. Yes, I grew up in a snowy place, but to actually be in a snowy place when there is this much snow on the ground--that hasn't happened in a long time.

_dscsatsnow30_copy I took this picture Saturday, after the first storm. Taxus sorely taxed by a covering of snow.

_dscsundaysnow42_copy Sunday, it snowed again, dumping even more snow on that poor Taxus.

At home in San Francisco, our front garden is still abloom with yellow cosmos, red schizostylis, white paludosum daisies, steel blue cerinthe, clear blue Echium vulgare (the annual one), etc. Here, there is an occasional curled brown oak leaf clinging on a branch to remind one that the trees once had leaves, and snow everywhere--piled on evergreen yew, arborvitae, and rhodies. Quite a contrast.


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