Sunday, March 18, 2012

False Spring

This is what we woke up to this morning. That dreaded white stuff: snow.

I hate snow. Yes, I know it’s pretty, but it’s also cold, and wet, and slippery. I got enough of it growing up to last me a lifetime.

This is the reason we haven’t been jumping on the big market bandwagon and planting new flowers yet, or why we sow our seeds in containers in the greenhouse instead of in the ground,like that packaging says we can. Despite the warm, Spring-like weather we’ve been having for the last few weeks we knew this day was coming. This sudden hard freeze that tries to kill everything in sight.

You see, while other places have “April showers” we have “April snows”. We always have a false spring, which drives the Hippylady mad. She wants to be out working in the soil and putting in plants, but she she knows better. So, she muddles her time killing zombies on the computer, and then rejoices when the snow finally comes. It means the end of winter.

Of course, this is an early snow for us. It’s still March, so we have to wait another month before we can start getting busy in the gardens. Oh, there’s clean-up to do. There are plants that need to be removed that we intend to compost instead of transplant, and there’s the dead tumbleweeds that plague the area. As soon as you clean those up a wind comes along and blows more in from one of the open fields nearby, and you have to start all over again. But it will be another month before we can start putting plants in the ground.

Now, why did I call it the big-market bandwagon? Because, all of the chain stores around here with gardening centers have been bringing in merchandise and opening up said garden centers for big ‘spring sales’. They set up these large displays that extend well into the parking lots so they can try to draw shoppers in and sell them plants and trees during the false spring. You can always tell who’s a local and who’s new to the area by watching what they grab. Locals snap up tools and fertilizer, while our most recent human transplants walk out with carts full of baby plants and garden soil.

The local, independent nurseries and garden shops, however, look like ghost towns. They know it’s a false spring. They know what’s going to happen, and being locals themselves, they aren’t going to push plants onto unsuspecting people who have no idea what’s going to happen to any new planting that’s put in to ground right now. The big markets, on the other hand, are more than happy to do so, and then sell you replacement plants when the first ones die in the April snow.

Now, it’s going to freeze again tonight, and we’ll get more snow. Tomorrow it should start to warm a little, and in a few days we’ll be back up to the mid-70s. It will stay that way for a few weeks. But, in another month we’ll see a weather report that looks like 75, 74, 76, 26... **blink blink** Yes, it will happen that quick. Nature will be playing nice and then all the sudden she’ll say “SIKE!”, and the entire Prescott Area will be covered in snow again.

In the mean time we’ll be patiently (or impatiently) waiting for the first week of May. Until then we’ll keep the snow pants and mittens handy while we refrain from putting new baby plants in the ground.

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