I grew up in harsh winters. Coldsnaps with artic temps. But thaw always showed itself – at least a little in March.
Today – again – my kale, chard, mustard 'Ruby Streaks,' lettuces all lay under 5 inches of snow. Late April! Even the lovage, which had become so lush on a single, warm weekend and the peas, just germinated, have been punished for their enthusiasm. This is the longest winter I believe I have ever lived. At high elevations, spring rains fall as snow. More snow was due in 5-6 days, but today the weatherman seems to indicate that instead we'll have 70 degree temps. Typical.
As early as February, last year, we had 80 degree temps regularly. I missed being able to plant cool spring crops altogether! Its unavoidable; recent history writes a story on your subconscious. But certainly a spike in illness a month ago, gives witness to how natural and widespread our collective expectations were. As hearts sank, and winter coats were prematurely shed on expectations, illness rates soared locally.
I reached for 'Rocky Mountain Garden Survival Guide' a tiny little paperback with invaluable empathy for those dealing with extreme changes in springtime weather written by Susan J. Tweit. Its the only gardening guide I've run across which acknowledges the extreme challenges of finding a low-risk Spring planting date where I live.
Nature's manipulation into confusion. There's nothing like this kind of swing in a season's character to destabilize what you might have expected lies ahead further on into the growing season. Is hail around the corner? After waiting so long to transplant slightly-overmature plants into my beds, this could lie in store for us all.
Letting go. Sitting in the midst of a maelstrom of change and opening your palms to abandon any plans. Living in peace in complete uncertainty. Its a talent; not one I was raised to know. This year I shall be challenged to practice it.