Getting the Garden Ready for Snow

Interesting times. We don't get snow very often (once every three or four winters, and it never stays for very long. So, when snow to near sea-level is forecast, my head goes into a garden-spin.

 The flax flowerhead has died off.
Crab-Apples and Phormium

My poor garden! My evergreen trees! Branches will break, since they just cannot support the wet white stuff. To put it more formally: the infra-structure of my garden isn't designed for snow.

'The infra-structure of my garden isn't designed for snow.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

But good gardeners have to be prepared for the worst weather systems, so I'm ready for some serious snow forays. Wielding my hiking poles I will emerge every half-hour and knock the snow off all my Phormiums and smaller shrubs (junior Pittosporums are particularly susceptible). I will don my trusty Gore-Tex parka, and snow gloves (OK, I don't have any, but I can improvise).

Personal comforts also kick in. I'll need to get more firewood under cover just outside the back door - just in case the forecast is correct. None of this snowy traipsing to the woodshed in hiking boots, just for woody warmth. I can be better organised than that!

 Not too deep yet.
Driveway Snow

The cats don't understand snow, and young Minimus has never experienced it in her short life. Tiger the tortoiseshell, lazy about her toilet habits at the best of times (that is, mid-summer, with expansive tracts of dry, easily dug garden soil beckoning) will need watching. The pantry door will need to be firmly shut at all times - Tiger likes to be hidden from human view while disgracing herself.

My Serious Cold-Weather Winter Book

It's probably a good time to bring out my most serious cold-weather winter book - I reread it at this time every year, tucked up toasty warm in bed. It's 'The Worst Journey in the World', an Antarctic classic, and this year I'm sleeping in tiny Pond Cottage, where I can hear the driving rain and the cold buffeting wind as I read. I guess a mini-blizzard would complete the in-cottage experience?

 With Rusty the dog in prime position.
2011 Snow Pictures

That's about it, really. OK, snow, bring yourself on! I don't believe you're really on the way, but just in case I've recharged my camera batteries and put up a new bird feeder. I'm ready, even if my garden isn't.


I think the photographs speak for themselves, don't they! And 'The Worst Journey in the World', written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, should be compulsory reading for anyone (not me) who moans about how cold their winter is, hee hee.

And Tiger the cat? She chose the carpet in the upstairs toilet. The carpet! Rude cat. Humph...