Feathery, glittery snow, like the downy, iridescent wings of an angel, fell silently as a sweet hush swept over the landscape.   The wind whispered tender secrets upon the air, suspended, drifting from one tree to the next.

Snow, for many, is merely a nuisance.  Although the aesthetics are undeniable, the beauty, for most, does not outweigh the hassle.  Snow is very much a four letter word for the majority, but nature, specifically flora, views snow entirely differently.  Snow, in fact, can be a lifesaver in Winter.

Snow, as you know, is an insulator, and helps warm and maintain soil temperatures.  Because the heart and majority of any plant or tree lies below the surface, the warmer soil temps aid in the plants’ survival.  The same insulating properties help protect perennials, bulbs, and groundcover from the potentially damaging effects of the freeze-thaw cycle.  Without the presence of snow coupled with milder temps and sunny days, the soil’s surface can temporarily warm, leading to soil heaving, which can injure roots and dehydrate plants.

Additionally, snow provides much-needed moisture for the plants’ root systems.  Snow also acts as a barrier to drying winds, like an anti-desiccant, thus mitigating water loss.  Snow can also help reduce soil erosion from cold, drying winds.  Think of it as nature’s blanket.  Your garden does!

Snow also highlights the beauty of structure and form, from trees to perennials to ornamental grasses.  It can be as beneficial as it is stunning!


Plant of the Week

Photo courtesy of Midwest Groundcovers

First Editions Snow White Mock Orange

Deciduous shrub with large, double, snowy white flowers with a lovely citrusy scent bloom late Spring – early Summer.  Prefers sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 4-6′ tall and 4-6′ wide.  Attracts butterflies and pollinators.

“Winter is the king of showmen,

Turning tree stumps into snowmen,

And houses into birthday cakes,

And spreading sugar over lakes.

Smooth and clean and frosty white,

The world looks good enough to bite.

That’s the season to be young,

Catching snowflakes on your tongue…”

-Ogden Nash

Warm wishes,

Kim Sweeney