Gardening

Of spring fever and tempting fate

Even for Chinook-prone Southern Alberta, it’s getting a little ridiculous. I hate to complain about warm weather, but plus 18 degrees in February is a little strange. Nighttime temperatures hovering just below, and occasionally just above, freezing is something we are accustomed to seeing in March and April, not January. Snow stays only in the shadows. Winter boots are tracking in mud. Pussy willows sway on their branches– for weeks now.

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Forgive me if I’m a little nervous. I’ve got baby trees, and I just pray that the short days will keep in check what the temperatures aren’t. I’ve seen plenty of plants succumb to winter after being tricked into thinking its spring, so I’m a little distrustful of all this warmth.
But oh, do I want to trust it! I want to dig around, tidy up, get started! But I don’t dare. Instead I’ve been working around the edges of this deceitful meteorology. Pulling out the growing medium. Tidying the shed. Spreading gravel. Nothing directly horticultural, you see. I don’t even dare put anything to paper, in case Mother Nature is into reading over people’s shoulders.

If I were to be bold and stick a shovel in the ground, I think I could almost guarantee snow within 48 hours. Raking back mulch surely would instigate a cold snap. Part of me feels like I should make some overt move, invite retaliation and a return to normalcy; but the bigger part of me is enjoying too much the covert operations. The quiet preparations for whenever it’s here… for real.

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