Snow Sentiments - June, 2012
Smells Like Snow
Having a snow-covered garden is something I love reminiscing about. Remember the great snow of 2003, when we had to feed out the sheep? What about 2006 when the giant Wattle trees came crashing down and it took six winter weeks to saw and chop through the mess? I enjoy peering at my blue-white pictures of frolicking dogs and cautious cats. Snow is so pretty in photographs.
But I don't really like snow in the here and now. I worry about my garden. One small example - my poor Phormiums get flattened. I go outside to flick snow off their leaves, and then I hear another loud crack as some tree loses another branch. Eek! Safer inside.
This year's snow, the 2012 version, came early in June, two to three weeks before the winter solstice. As usual I didn't believe the forecast. Snow to sea-level? Not in my garden (100 metres above). How easy it is for one's personal weather analysis to fail, and thus one's personal garden preparation.
And so I didn't bother to move the pots of Pelargoniums into the glass-house, and I ignored the Dogwood tree, variety Stokes Pink, highly ornamental and highly prone to breakages. Ouch. Naughty gardener...
Cordylines in the Snow
We inevitably have power outages when it snows, and they aren't a house-problem. The log-burner, gas cooker, lamps and torches all work well. But it never feels like fun to me. And, inevitably, I want to watch daytime TV (I can't), or work on the internet (I can't), or bake bread and a large meaty casserole (ditto). Most of all I want to go outside and start cleaning up the garden. But it's prudent to wait until everything that's going to break has broken.
It's Snowing Again
Wet snow collecting on brittle tree branches causes the most damage. Crash! 2012's snow delivered a rather close-to-home surprise, as two heavy Eucalyptus tree branches (both fatter than a Tongan rugby player's thighs) crashed down on the corner of Pond Cottage. Poor Minimus (my cottage cat) and poor me, both inside the cottage in the dark. We may both be tough, but we've moved back into the big house until the hole in the roof is fixed. Fair enough?
As usual a lot of my evergreen shrubs and trees are damaged. But they're easy-come, easy-go plants - mainly Pittosporums and Hebes - and a bit of snow-pruning doesn't hurt them. I'm impatient to start fixing things, putting my garden back to winter normal, so in the spirit of positive, polite encouragement I've written the snow a wee poem. Maybe it will take notice of me...
Pittosporum in Snow Trouble
Snow - please - go.
Go - please - snow.
Please don't quibble,
Melt and dribble,
Go - snow - go.
The Moosey Garden is in New Zealand, and only 40 kilometres from the coast. According to Non-Gardening Partner (an ex-prairies Canadian, therefore highly snow-experienced) it's allowed to snow here 'once in a while', but snow shouldn't settle on the ground for more than a couple of days. Ha! The official weather word.