Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The winter of 2013 - 2014 will likely be remembered as the winter of windchill.  Many people in the County are saying they haven't experienced a winter like this since 1977.  By "this", they mean extreme blowing snow, extreme windchill.  There have been white out conditions from Consecon south to Picton and beyond many days starting at the end of December and continuing - to today.  Here's what Lake Ontario off Wellington looked like earlier this month - not an unusual picture this year.

Lake Ontario in Wellington, January 7, 2014

Of course, what this means to the garden is anyone's guess.  I fear most for the Magnolias - how their flower buds can survive the extreme cold I honestly don't know.  My two varieties are rated by Dirr to be hardy to US zone 3 (the M. acuminata) and US zone 5 (M. tripetala).  US zone 5 means hardy to -20 degrees fahrenheit - or about -29 celsius.  So the tripetal should be all right since I don't think the actual temperature has dropped that low, but it will all depend on the windchill, which has gone below -30 on numerous occasions this year.  It's planted in a somewhat protected location, with other large trees screening it from the strong north and west winds, but only time will tell.....

The other thing that causes me some concern is the flooding in the front field.  I planted a few saplings near the road a few years ago - a transplanted pine and a donated white spruce - in a spot I thought would be safe.  But looking at the pond that formed during last week's thaw I'm not certain.  Got to get the drainage swale put in!

pond in front field surrounding two new trees.  Oops!

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