Feel like dissing the weather?

April 19, 2011

By Jane Garrison

Disgusted? Disgruntled? Dismayed? When it comes to the weather, all of the above work for me.

The cold, the rain and, as of this writing in April, the snow make gardening seem like a remote consideration. I know the blackberries, shotweed and dirty Robert don’t even care; they are out there going at it no matter what. C’mon, gardeners. We have to rally the troops.

Before I can be optimistic I have to convince myself, so I looked in my trusty garden diary to see if there is any hope for decent weather in our future. Some years are just plain bad, but thinking that is not an option. So, I looked for a hopeful weather pattern, and I found a recent one.

In 2009, my forsythia by the garage was in full bloom the first week in April. In 2010, that same forsythia peaked at the end of February, nearly six weeks earlier. This year, it was full during the first week in April again, the same as 2009. It took six weeks from first blossom to peak bloom this year due to cold weather. I was astounded by the difference in bloom times from year to year and the impact of the weather, not the season, on the blossoms.

The year 2010 was an unusual year, warmer and drier than our standard spring fare. This year is similar to 2009 with a cold, wet spring. I thought maybe, just maybe, there might be a pattern, a little something to give us hope. I looked forward in my diary that year to the end of the wet spell, and guess what. The rain stopped in early May. We had a couple of days in Sammamish that summer above 100 degrees, and the rain didn’t come back until Aug. 10! That is something to lift our soggy spirits and smile about.

I’m not sure if weather patterns are reliable. I think they might not be, but I’d rather not know for sure. I like being hopeful, so let’s just quit dissing and start rebounding. Somehow, some way, sometime the good stuff will come our way. It always has.

Master Gardeners’ clinics are happening at Squak Mountain Nursery and the Issaquah Farmers Market every Saturday. Bring your samples, pictures and questions.

Jane Garrison is a local landscape architect and master gardener who gardens in glacial till on the plateau.

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