74F Last Thursday, 16F Predicted Monday
Cold climate gardeners, we knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? After the incredible, pinch-me-I’m-dreaming spell of beautifully warm weather, the real March weather is coming back with a vengeance. I don’t think it got quite as warm here as it did other places in my general area, but it got warm enough to coax the hydrangeas into bud.Last spring I agreed to trial ‘Summer Lace’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Shugert’) and ‘Blue Heaven’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Heaven’) because I wanted to test out the advice in Hydrangeas in the North: Getting Blooms in the Colder Climates. Author Tim Boebel has spent years trialing all sorts of hydrangeas, but despite his subtitle, he gardens in a zone 6 climate–warmer by at least one zone than mine. I wanted to see how his advice held up in my colder climate.
But the decision to move and the ensuing upheaval caused me to change my plans. Instead of planting those two trial hydrangeas last spring, I potted them up and planted them in the new garden last fall. So I’m taking pains to make sure they survive long enough for me to apply Tim Boebel’s advice. That’s why, when I learned the predicted low for Monday was 16F degrees, I decided to protect the hydrangeas with a mulch of leaves.When I moved to this new garden, there were some hydrangeas already planted here. I am mulching those as well, so I have a chance to see what they look like.
In general, I don’t like to grow plants that have to be babied. It just adds a layer of stress to what should be an enjoyable endeavor. But sometimes I will go the extra mile because I’m curious about a plant or a garden procedure, and this is one of those times. How about you? Are there any plants you’re going to protect?
And I have to say, that glorious spring weather kind of spoiled me. To think many gardeners start spring this early every year! I’m trying really hard to remember their summers are hotter.