Gardening Magazine

Snow Blues

By Patientgardener @patientgardener


Calamagrostis overdam bent over uncer  the snow

Calamagrostis overdam bent over under the snow

I really don’t think we English are cut out for the snow, well  not in the 21st century.  Personally I don’t particularly like snow, certainly not after the first initial snowfall.  Iwrote nearly a week ago of the first snowfall and exploring the unsullied snow on the local common in its pristine wintery finery.  Well that was nearly a week ago and I am weary of the monochrome landscape.  I really don’t think I would do very well if I lived in the northern states of the US whose bloggers seem to cope with weeks if not months of snow; the amount of which puts us to shame. I  feel a little  ashamed  of my pathetic response to snow especially after watching an old documentary of the Big Freeze in 1963 when they had freezing cold weather for three months and snowmen built at the start of the year were still standing in March. But I  suppose we are what our  environment makes us and in recent times we haven’t had to cope with too much cold weather – we have become soft.

On Wednesday, the snow had almost cleared to the point where I could  get my snow and ice adverse automatic back to the driveway instead of parking it up the road.  But no another batch of heavy snow was forecast overnight.  I  find it amazing how we British seem to deny the existence of snow until we are knee-deep in it.  It seems that we think if we keep saying ‘oh the weathermen are just being cautious’ the snow won’t materialise.  But it does and we are unfailingly caught out and chaos ensues and I suspect we are the laughing-stock of Northern Europe.

Melianthus major giving in to winter

Melianthus major giving in to winter

Being a snow phobic and leaving in a very hilly part of the country with a good 20 minute car drive cross-country to work I become obsessive about the weather forecast when snow is possible – the same happens when it rains a lot and floods threaten.  There I was on Wednesday at work cancelling a hair appointment the next day and sorting work to do at home should the snow indeed fall.  People laughed and told me it would just be some flakes.  I parked my car up the road from home – a good 12 minute walk  up hill but at least on a main road which I know will be gritted and which would give me an almost safe journey to work.

Yesterday morning we awoke to a landscape freshly covered in snow.  Another 2 – 3″ had fallen.  The previous  snow that was still covering the garden seemed to have grown overnight and all the traces of birds and animals had been wiped out again.  More snow was forecast during the day so  I decided to stay  put and work from home .  My son disappeared off to work over the other side of the hills and luckily arrived safely – he knows better than to give me the details of the difficulties he encounters on his country ungritted route.

Hamamelis mollis ‘Arnold Promise’ hiding its charms

Hamamelis mollis ‘Arnold Promise’ hiding its charms

I worked hard getting far more done than I would in the office, always the way when you are distanced from the phone. I spent an hour clearing the snow from the driveway and road outside our house so my son could get back  home and also exploring the garden to see how my plants were faring.  The Grevillea and Bay were keeling over again under the weight of another snow fall and had to be shaken free.  I  have given up trying to help the Fatsia whose leaves, even when shed of snow, just hang down limply.  Amongst all the white and grey there was one bright spark.  Glinting out from amongst the snow were the flowers of my Hamamelis mollis ‘Arnold Promise’.  It had just  started to flower before the first snow and I find myself  wondering if it will flower for long after the snow has cleared.  I shook the snow off it so at least I could enjoy the warm sunshine yellow of its flowers from my living  room window.


The snow stopped and the temperatures have reached a heady 1C, there is sign of a thaw.  We are told the temperatures will  improve by the weekend but that this will mean a quick thaw and possibly floods.  I do hope this  isn’t a sign of another wet year ahead of us.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog