The year started with the Never-Ending Winter. It dragged on, kicking and screaming into April.  It started in December, wickedly cold. We were spared mass accumulations until later storms, making their dramatic appearance starting in March.  The news reported of thundersnows and bombogenesis. We learned a lot about snow.

Winter Storm Quinn bent trees, but did not give us much ice, so we made out okay. The incidence of ice storms in general seems to have grown worse in the past decade. I’m thankful for our arborist for helping to recommend which trees to prune, and even one to cable. We had her assess our trees as soon as we moved in, and took some actions for tree health and safety.

Only one of the big Eastern Red Cedars behind the house lost the very tip of its top. It’s sad to see something that old succumb to the weather. The American Elm over our back driveway, already growing sideways and leaning toward those cedars, bent over precariously. I held my breath as I walked under it to get the mail or the newspaper. But it did not fail.  I’m still nervous every time the wind blows on the top of our hill about the gnarled old Catalpa that looms over our house. There is a reason our place is called Windy Knoll.

All that cold helped to ensure a glorious bulb show in the early spring. Winter bulbs require a sustained chill period to do their very best.  And, as you’ll see in a post from earlier this year, the Glory-of-the-Snow and Snowdrops bounced back surprising well as the snow melted.

Aside from documenting the garden emerging and the snow’s effects, the winter brought the usual planning and perusing catalogs and websites to plan the massive efforts ahead in building out the new garden. The constant question: Where to start?