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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rain or Snow?

When we have warm rainy days like today during the winter, people go around saying "if it was colder outside and this was snow, we'd really have a mess on our hands". I checked a few web sites and it looks like opinions vary, but an inch of rain converts to about 6.5 - 10 inches of snow.
I am not much for this kind of speculation. When it is rain, it's not snow, and we can be thankful for that. I prefer rain to snow, except on Christmas day and maybe Christmas eve. And even on those days I prefer just enough snow for a white Christmas, but no snow on the roads, please.
Right now, oddly enough, we have a thunderstorm rolling through. And more rain. The rain is not unusual in December, but the thunder is.

Actually, snow and consistent cold would be better overall for the garden. Cold, then warm, then cold, then warm temperatures tend to cause a lot of intermittent freezing and thawing, and thus ground shifting, which can uproot perennials and other shallow rooted plants.

But every place has its challenges when it comes to gardening. We just learn to accept the challenges where we are and figure out over time how to overcome them.

Then we become somewhat "snobbish" and insist we would rather garden in no other place than right where we are. (Wouldn't that be quite an exchange amongst gardeners... who is gardening in the best place and why?)

I can't imagine gardening some place else other than where I'm at. It's all I know.

Except, I would convert Indianapolis to one hardiness zone warmer, to zone 6. This would give me some additional plants to work with. Not that I am bored with the plants available to zone 5 gardeners. It's just that sometimes when I'm looking through catalogs, everything is hardy just to zone 6 and thus just out of my reach.

4 comments:

Kathy said...

Huh. I look through the catalogs and see that everything is hardy to zone 5 and just out of my reach. Actually, I think of zone 5 as my gambling zone. This calls for another Henry Mitchell quote:
"It's Human Nature, or at least a gardener's nature (which is not quite the same thing), to want to live at least one and preferably two climatic zones warmer than where he gardens."

El said...

What makes it fun to garden is to ignore those zone "suggestions," Carol.

And just wait: with global warming, you'll be a Zone 6 in no time at all!

Sue Swift said...

Odd - I met up with a friend from the UK here in Milan over the weekend. As we were chatting a thunderstorm broke out and I said "How weird - a thunderstorm in December." She said "Yes, we had one at home the other day too. Unheard of at this time of year".

eleanor said...

I enjoy all kinds of weird weather, as long as I'm in my cosy nest called home.