Winter…

Winter has sort of arrived in Prince Edward County.  The past few months have seen temperatures hover around zero Celsius – one day snow, the next day rain…. the 14 day forecast says nothing above freezing but who knows!

The good news is that sump pumps everywhere are going non stop and water is once again running over the top of the Consecon Mill dam.  I’m hoping this means the official end of the 2016 drought, and our well is back to normal.  Most people here want a lot of snow this year so that the water table gets back to normal.  The number one lesson I learned from the drought is not to plant things that clearly require moist soil.  I lost a few small trees – Larch in particular – and even the native red Osier dogwood seems in many places to have died – I’ll only know for sure come spring.

What would have died if I hadn’t made a lot of trips to the lake to bring back buckets of irrigation water?  The cucumber and umbrella Magnolias I started from seed 15 years ago; yellow twig dogwoods I planted in the spring; perennials I transplanted or started from seed; my new Pennsylvania Maple; various other shrubs and perennial planted in spring before I knew how dry it would be.

What did all right with no watering?  Various Spireas; garlic started the previous fall in a well-mulched raised bed; Paperbark Maple; Foxglove started from seed; Junipers; Smoke Tree.

The photo at the top is what an artichoke looks like if left to flower then left on the stalk.  I grew them from seed and had a half dozen plants send up stalks.  Another dozen plants produced gigantic leaves but no stalks.  Not too sure why…

 

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