Photo by Jessica Walliser
I’m beginning to think we will have snow on the ground until the end of March!Â I canâ€™t remember the last winter here in Western Pennsylvania that weâ€™ve had such consistent snow cover, though itâ€™s good for all those perennials I planted very late in the season.Â
Theyâ€™re prone to heaving with all the freeze-thaw cycles we usually have around here during the winter.Â Hopefully this year theyâ€™ll stay nestled in the ground with no heaving and root freeze to speak of.Â Only time will tell.
There are very few perennials left standing in my gardens; the rest have toppled under the weight of all the snow.Â The buddlea is still upright and the branches are covered in peanut butter-birdseed-pinecone birdfeeders made by my son.Â The tri-lobed coreopsis is standing tall and my ornamental grasses continue to look quite nice.Â
Looking out my living room window, I can see the tops of my hellebores and some of my Echinacea seed heads.Â Not much else is sticking above the snow.Â I guess itâ€™s a lean year for all the birds around here. Iâ€™ve been trying my best to keep the feeders and suet cages full.Â
The deer have been frequent visitors throughout the winter thus far (surprise, surpriseâ€¦).Â Iâ€™ve covered the boxwood and hollies with netting (lesson learned last season on that one!).Â Thereâ€™s a cage around the pink buckeye tree that was a gift from some treasured friends at the local Horticultural Society and I even covered my redbud tree just incase the deer decided to have a little taste of something new.Â Better safe than sorry.Â Â Â Â Â Â
What I havenâ€™t protected from the deer, and it appears that I probably should have, is my oakleaf hydrangea.Â Itâ€™s one of my favorite flowering shrubs for its 4-season interest (oak-like foliage, white conical flowers, glorious autumn foliage, and interesting bark and form).Â The deer have nipped off the ends of all the branches and I suspect theyâ€™ll go even further during February if all this snow sticks around.Â Perhaps a trek in the snow with some more netting is in order for the coming days.Â Â Â Â