I have decided to forgive March.  Just last weekend, she mercilessly stole an hour of sleep from me.  I don’t take kindly to such behavior and have cursed March like no other month, save for August, but she has atoned for her conduct – lavishing us in Spring-like temperatures.  It’s an odd feeling really, and one many of us Midwesterners look forward to, yet have no idea how to graciously handle.   I mean, I’ve been getting hot and have even turned the a/c on in the car.  My daughter struts around the house in shorts.  I imagine we look a bit foolish, but what’s a body to do when you go from negative wind chills to almost 50 degrees in a very short period of time?  You do it however you see fit, and for me, it’s not a modest or flattering transition. All hail March!

As Spring-like temps would have it, the mountains of snow have been reduced to puddles, and larger swaths of our yards are becoming visible and accessible.  I don’t mind the great thaw, but I detest the mud that comes with it.  Anyhow, as I witnessed the receding snow, it got me to thinking about a past topic, “Snow Etiquette”, and I forgot to mention a few important things.  I’m sure you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind, and NO ONE wants to discuss snow any further, but I think it’s important – worth discussing as decisions made now can assist come next Winter.

When you get as much snow as we have for the last few years, you simply run out of places to put it, and sometimes you end up shoveling snow over plants and shrubs.  The sheer weight, dampness, and salt can damage, if not kill these plants, so it’s time to rethink what we have planted near sidewalks, driveways, and even garages.  For example, maybe you’re better off planting perennials or ornamental grasses in these areas that can be cut back in Fall, so not only is there additional room for snow, but it should not adversely affect them.  Maybe planters are in order, which can be easily moved, so damaging snow becomes a non-issue.

Basically what I’m saying is, before you start planting or re-designing, think about the areas where snow is typically piled and opt for plants and/or shrubs that can tolerate such conditions, particularly if salt is involved.  You can save yourself a whole lot of pain, frustration, time and money by choosing appropriate plants in these high risk areas.

Now, get out there and enjoy the weather!

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”

-Virgil A. Kraft

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney