Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Is Canceled

Let this post serve as a double warning to gardeners and other fragile souls downwind from Manhattan, Kansas.  Give up hope.  I mean it.  Forget about your previous rules regarding planting potatoes or peas on Saint Patrick's day.  Forget about a harvest of peaches or apples or apricots for the coming year.  Forget about any passion you hold inside in hopes of a great gardening year.

Spring-like weather in the past two months had us completely fooled, and by "us" I mean both the gardener and his plants, into thinking that winter had fled and better times were on the way.   We haven't seen rain for months, but I went to bed happy that some moisture was predicted overnight.  A vast hoax, however, has been perpetrated upon me.  I woke up to subfreezing temperatures, blizzard winds, and the scene below in my backyard this morning and loudly spouted a few words that I won't repeat here in case there are children within earshot.

I'll let the picture-heavy text below speak for itself in lieu of me trying to find the words to express despair.

The cranes felt that they'd come too far north and they were not happy.

This photo of lilac 'Annabelle', just coming into bloom, is reminiscent of the photo that appears on the cover of my book, from 2007.

My front garden looks just as bad:  The forsythia is still bright, but the various plants covered by snow here include sedums, daylilies, Monarda, peonies, and roses.

The daffodils were on their way out anyway, but I have to say goodbye to these beautiful scragglers.

Kon-Tiki Head was not pleased at his northeastern exposure.  Neither were the fully-leafed-out roses in his vicinity.

The only cheerful bright spot in the now-winterized landscape are these variegated iris.  I wonder if they will still look this cheery by next week? 


Anyway, there are other photos that I may add later, but they're just as depressing as these examples. I could show, for instance, a photo of the clump of Puschkinia that I highlighted in my last entry, but it is just a blob beneath the snow, no flowers to be seen.   I'm sorry for the dark nature of these photos but I waited for morning as late as I dared before grabbing these pictures and rushing on to work.  That being said, the gray tones match my mood, so why not let them convey the despair?

Oh, at the beginning I mentioned a double warning and only gave you one.  The second warning, other than the lousy weather coming your way, is this:  NEVER TRY TO GARDEN IN KANSAS!


  1. I find that taking some deep breaths helps. We have been flirting with freezes here in Tulsa but so far no go. I have my fingers crossed.

  2. We managed to miss much snow here, but did get very cold temps. Maybe its that we are just a river crossing away from Missouri. But this whole year hasn't been good for gardening so far!


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