The Cold December Rain

Guns ‘n Roses might have gotten it wrong because we’ve been getting rain here in Northern Wisconsin. In late December. It is so strange and so atypical. Heck, Christmas Day was warmer than both Halloween and Thanksgiving!

I’m unsure how this new winter-time meteorological event will impact the garden. The existing snow is melting and becoming this hard, ice-like brick of immovable cold sitting on top of everything. This means the snow that had fallen heavy on the Yew hedge has now become perilously heavy and awkward, splaying branches out wide and trapping others under its crust. I went out during a break in the rain to use a small pitch fork to gently lift what chunks of it I could in the hopes that the branches would slowly (given the unseasonably warm temperatures) work their way back to somewhere near upright.

The rest of the garden will, likely, have a thick coat of sludgy ice over it all when this is all over. It won’t insulate as well as the snow had and it may cause damage I’ve not even considered yet. But, given that we have at least 3+ more months of winter weather, there’s not much to be done about it.

There is a rumour of more heavy snow to come early next week, so if that comes, I won’t worry about the less hardy plants. But what a seesaw we’ve been on already! How is winter faring in your neck of the woods? More atypical weather, or steady as she goes? I’m fascinated to see if other places are seeing as much weird weather as we are.

7 thoughts on “The Cold December Rain”

  1. See-saw weather here, too. I think the bulbs will be fine. Woody plants being lured out of dormancy way too early are another matter. As you say, there’s not much to be done about it, except wait and see–and maybe start a list of replacement plants. That’s the bright side of every garden catastrophe: the opportunity to try something new. New plants, new design.

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    1. I like your approach! We’ve stayed cold enough here (though still above normal) so I’m less concerned here about bud break- but South of me and East I think it’s a very real concern. I wonder if this is any indicator of a revision in the USDA zones to come. Though I’m not at all sure how one would adjust them to account for such variable weather.

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  2. We’ve had over two consecutive weeks of 50’s and mid 60’s temps without any appreciable snow so far this winter. The one or two times we’ve received 4 or so inches melted away after only a day or two, so no insulation for plants either. I worry more about bud break on plants more than the bulbs (they can usually handle it) and it is in weather like this that the gooseberry sets buds way too early and the blackberry canes that should bear this year die back instead. North Central Indiana…it feels more like Tennessee…

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    1. It’s sounds like you are having similar weather to Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s bizarre. My fingers are crossed that you get some proper cold and snow (what a weird thing to hope for!) so next growing season isn’t a disaster.

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