As the wind gusts over 25mp this morning and the temperatures are expected to drop from 30 degrees into the teens throughout the day, I wonder …will my hardy annual teenager plants survive? Even after all these years of gardening and growing I still raise an eyebrow and think to myself, this is the year they will all bite the dust and die, ugh.
I torture myself thinking when trapped in the house, will they survive this wind whipping with below freezing temperatures? I had hoped for snow before all this wind and cold came. It would add a layer of protection that would last as long as needed and then melt, perfect! It didn’t come and rarely does here in the southeast.
So, I sit inside wondering with an occasional peek out the window to see if any of my row covers have flown the coop and have perhaps covered the power lines or my neighbor’s yards.
(Pictured above are a few of last winters survivors, left to right; winter rye mulching pathway next to Sweet William bed -March, leaves mulching pathways next to Bells of Ireland and Bachelor Buttons- March, Feverfew bed with winter rye pathways for mulch-March, beds of Green Mist, Sweet William and Snapdragons with leaves in pathways- May)
Hardy annuals are survivors. I have to repeat this to myself on days like this. Surely I will lose a few plants here and there that weren’t quite as mature as needed or some of those iffy varieties that I try to push the envelope with that aren’t the strongest survivors.
But—the rub is that the reward in spring with hardy annuals far outweighs my fretting today. The Snapdragons, Sweet Williams, Bells of Ireland and so many others that fill my garden come through loud and clear and make spring magical for me.
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com .
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