doodle by andre: it’s coming to get us

CLIMATOLOGIST ANDRE JORDAN (a.k.a. the Mad Garden Doodler of South Dakota) has proclaimed: It’s coming to get us! In his return to regular doodling activity after a holiday spent ramping up his booming junk business, he recaps the chaos I know I’m feeling over here, where “winter” apparently can mean just about anything (or nothing). How are you all faring?

  1. sharon says:

    No snow at all! Last year we had a lovely white Christmas and a decent amount throughout the winter in this zone 7 climate. My plants are waking up already — alas, too soon, too soon.

  2. Juniper gardener says:

    Here in Baltimore we’ve had nothing but a tiny skim of snow. Lots of mild weather that is definitely confusing/pushing the plants along. Well-positioned Hellebores were blooming by early December. This is more than a month earlier than I’ve seen before. American elms buds are swelling now. A few well-positioned red maples are blooming this week. But I don’t miss the huge heating bill!

  3. Patrick Smith says:

    Here on the Connecticut coastline, I’m trying to decide whether to cut back my “architectural” seed heads and grasses earlier than usual to clear the way for all my early minor bulbs, since the snow drops are popping up. – And the garden beds are too soggy to tread in.

    Hellebores are also getting active, but no witch hazel flowers yet. My winter jasmine has been going since December.

    Does anyone have advice on cutting back Helleborus foetidus (when should it be done,) since the foliage looks awful, but the light green blooms are doing their thing. I suppose I could just cut out the worst offenders, or not.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Patrick. Good question! I find that some years the foliage looks horrible on Helleborus foetidus when I haven’t even got flowers yet. (It seems to be best when we have deep snow all year like last year.) So I do think it’s a selective thing that’s tedious. I wonder if in my climate it might do better with a late spring cutback, after the flowers decline? Maybe we should try that (I suspect it would be June-ish?) to prompt a stronger plant from the base? I may experiment with a few of mine for comparison.

  4. Mary Anna says:

    My earliest crocus are up, here on the CT shoreline. They’re usually not up til the first week of March! I’ll go look for snowdrops later today – haven’t seen them yet… but this year is weird…

  5. Bill says:

    The winter here in the Princeton NJ area has been the same as everywhere else, mild and mud. The bird feeders are being visited by numbers and variety more akin to March not January. A flock of Robins have taken up residence on the lawn. There are far too many deer tracks in the mud telling me the deer are moving during the mild nights. I dread the number of deer that will be feasting on the shrubs and garden this spring.

  6. Loretta DeMarco says:

    Patrick cut those ratty leaves off now. They are no longer feeding the plant and they are distracting the eye from the flowers and the overall beauty of the plant. Don’t cut blooming stems but a judicial pruning of dead leaves is in order.

  7. Linda B Horn says:

    The info about Scott’s is so important to the future of landscape practice. Thanks for update. Sources for effective solutions that are least harmful would be great to share. I get some products from Garden’s Alive. Any info is greatly appreciated. Linda Horn

  8. Sallie says:

    I have the hardback copy–that is to say my daughter has my hardback copy and I don’t foresee getting it back anytime soon. So I would love a copy to squirrel away as my very own. It is such a wonderful book, definitely not a one time read.

  9. Mary-Ellen says:

    Winter—wherrreee are youuuu!!!!! Here in Omaha if you look real close you’ll see tiny patches of snow where it gets no sun. Tomorrow it’s suppose to be 60* and the Countyl Extension Service suggests watering shrubs etc because of the lack of moisture. I feel like I’m living in Ariz again. Ahh–but this is Nebraska and we know the weather can change just like that!!! :)

  10. Sharon says:

    Winter in northern Alabama usually includes below-freezing nights, rarely as low as 10 degrees and maybe one or two light snows that melt by noon the following day. This year we’ve had balmy weather, daytime temps in the 50’s and 60’s. My bird’s food violet was blooming in December and is again now. Daffodils and crocuses blooming, my old-fashioned spirea has a few blossoms. We’ve had thunderstorms all through the winter with a tornado last week!

  11. mihaela cobb says:

    Crazy,crazy,crazy. Winter just started yesterday in Detroit area (zone 6a formerly 5b) with about 2 inches of snow, but tomorrow will be in the high 40s, go figure…
    Had broccoli freshly picked from the garden (unprotected west facing area) on January 5th. Still able to pick kale, leeks, thyme. Covered crops are actually growing. I’m constantly worry about perennials, checking buds on magnolia and oakleaf hydrangea
    (we had a few freezing winds after long periods of mild, dry weather) We’ll count the loses in spring.

  12. Not a flake in sight, and none on the horizon. In fact, I even strolled through the garden over the weekend and found some spring green underneath some fallen leaves — hydrangeas, sedum, etc. At least the days are getting longer!

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