Going down to 25 tonight! A Rant.

Santa Fe, NM

O.K. I'm about at the end of my rope with this awful spring weather we've been having. Supposedly we are going down to 25 degrees for the next few nights. My roses are getting hit like Never before with all this extreme freeze and warm up. I know the Rockies are always like this, blah, blah, blah. But, I really think this is the worst year ever. Tomorrow I might just go ahead and start digging things up. Really losing my equanimity today. I mean, 30 degrees, par for the course, but 25!? I suppose it will be 90 degrees for a day time high and 10 degrees at night, the following week. And almost continual wind and dust storms. Why do I bother trying to garden in this horrible place?

Santa Fe, NM

An Up Date! Just watched local news on t.v. that says down to 32 tonight. No big deal. It is the local news (KOB) website that has us at 25 degrees! A 7 degree difference. Jeez. I'm about ready to scream! I have never seen so much divergent opinion on weather even between the t.v. station and the web site of the same channel! Argghhh. I guess it is a good lesson to just Not be Concerned at all whatsoever with any weather news we might get here because it will be wrong, whatever it is!

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I'm in Denver and we've had a miserably erratic spring as well. Here's a link to the NOAA specific area forecast. http://snurl.com/gsl7a You can enter your zip code to get more specific if you're not near the Santa Fe airport. NOAA seems to be much more accurate than anything any of the media outlets predict so I usually go by what they say.

So far this year we lost all of our cherry blossoms and it looks like the lilacs and honeysuckle are pretty badly frost damaged as well. Unfortunately this kind of weather seems pretty normal around here. April flowers bring May snowstorms!

Good luck!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Yeah. Me too Roybird!

As for NOAA, I check their point forecast for my location religiously, along with wunderground.com (I think that's it) and weather.com.

NOAA seems always to be the one predicting the deepest freezes and I have no idea which is more accurate right here as I don't yet have any outdoor thermometer or the like set up.

Weather underground irritates the heck out of me because they seem to stop posting updates mid afternoon and if you are trying to figure out what is going to happen after midnight just forget it. Plus which they keep telling me it's 100 percent humidity. Oh, r i i i i i i ght.

*sigh*

Santa Fe, NM

D.H. said the local weather stations get their info. from NOAA, so I might as well just check that. Thanks, DenverJude, for the link. I think the trick is to adjust my attitude to where I don't care so much about plants dying and keep in mind that they can be replaced. I don't want gardening to be a source of anxiety all the time. That's not good!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I, too, check NOAA daily, in fact, sometimes, several times a day. I do find it the most accurate forecast for my location, but not particularly accurate. I like the weather map that you can enlarge. Sometimes that helps me know whether we will have precipitation or not.
This has been a miserable spring, but I haven't had any flowers freeze since the apricots early on. Knock on wood, there! Last year we had a freeze about now that got the early iris that were in bloom. This year it hasn't happened yet. Actually the early iris seem to be later than last year judging by the dates on last year's photos. The apricots were unusually early in their bloom -- primarily because of an unseasonable warm spell for a week or two before. The freezes as predicted by NOAA are much lower than what actually happened.
It is the wind and dust that drive me mad. Less moisture makes for yet more dust. Arg! But right now, my little rhododendron is blooming! Not spectacularly, but nevertheless blooming!

Santa Fe, NM

I'm really going to try not to get so wound up with this weather stuff. There is Nothing I can do about it anyway. I'm trying to weather the weather. Whatever. By the way, here is a Big Thank You! An anonymous person very kindly renewed my D.G. subscription for me! How nice! I should start a whole new thread on that but all I can say is Thanks!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Frustrating, isn't it Roybird.

I bypass the NOAA and go straight to God, who really does know what the weather will be. Of course, He just says "Don't worry about it. The plants in the world have survived for a long time and they still look good. Besides, it was rather silly of you to put your tomatos out in March. You can get new ones at Walmart for $4."

Santa Fe, NM

You mean God is hustling tomato products for Walmart? You must have misunderstood her, Doc! L.O.L.!!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Walmart just happens to sell Brandywine heirloom tomatos.

Santa Fe, NM

Is that what She told you? Sorry, I'm feeling agnostic this morning. But, thankful!

Littleton, CO(Zone 5a)

Ok, when I went to bed last night they were forecasting a low of 38 and this morning I woke up to 3" of white and big fat flakes still falling. Sheesh! And I didn't bring in anything. grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!! On top of that, I went away for 5 days and left my plants to be cared for at home. I lost a lot of my smaller ones that had just gone outside, they got too dry. Lesson learned, bring everything in if someone else is watching it. (sigh) Oh well, on the bright side. Husband was very sad and gave me more allowance for plants at the nursery and a big hug. I'm not going to tell him that most of it was lobella and only costs about 50cents a plant. lol

Paj, I love Rhododendrons. I only recently found out we could grow them in the Rockey Mtn region. Of course, it will have to put into my front yard project because the back is pretty full of trees and bushes now. Do you have yours in a pretty shady place?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

No kidding? What a pleasant surprise? Roybird, I never count on decent weather here until May -- even then we have bad spells but they are father apart. I have always thought New Mexico springs are just plain horrible -- beautiful fruit trees in bloom one day, snirt the next. It has always been this way -- since I came here -- a very long time ago. Every year seems to be the worst, but it isn't. They all are.
Very sweet of whoever that was who paid up your membership. What a nice bunch of folks we get to hang out with here on DG.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I meant a pleasant surprise that Wal Mart sells brandywines. Not that you lost plants kTalia.
Your DH sounds like a sweety -- more plant money and a hug. He knows how to keep his wife happy.
I don't know how many rhododendrons grow here, but mine has now made it through two bloom seasons. It is in about 1/2 day shade, I am guessing. I feed it lots of manure and coffee grounds and mulch. I love it.

Littleton, CO(Zone 5a)

Hmmm... I was thinking the dwarf ones might make a nice short hedge along the walk out front. Who knows. That's a long ways out for me.

Oh look, the sun just came out. Gotta love the Rockies.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Labrador Spring.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Probably would work kTalia. I don't find that mine grows all that fast so probably would work for low hedge. Attractive plant. Not as densely flowered as some rhodies I have seen.

Englewood, CO(Zone 5b)

Weather caught me unawares too. Shorts and t-shirt yesterday while weeding, then went to mom's, came home in the evening with the car heater blasting. Shoudl I bring in the plants? nah! Ran out into the snow (!) this morning in my robe and slippers, hoping to save a potted geranium (pelargonium) and a couple of tender plants. Good grief, I am so ready for the snow to be done!

I pruned roses Saturday -- lots of frost damage. My ornamental pear got frosted, and the lilacs look awful. The xerics and natives are doing just fine, hmm....

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I put jugs over all the stuff I just planted (about 9 plants, some of them recent divisions) and a seed tray cover over the new shoots on my recently cut back shrub rose. I think everything will be fine. It didn't actually get horribly cold, just messy. We had about 3" of slushy snow that's still trying to melt. No sun here in NW Denver yet.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

It has been balmy and sunny hear. I am a jealous of the moisture, though. Other than that the weather here is fine with me.

Santa Fe, NM

A better day today! Sunny and not as windy. Still Very dry but no freezes predicted by NOAA. I cut back roses today with lots of frost damage. I usually don't have frost damage like this, really. I'm not exaggerating. This spring has been worse than usual in that way. I have seen much worse winds, however. The tulips are having a good year and the iris not so much. I think the tulips, being planted deeper, were not as affected by the freeze and thaw cycles.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hello my name is dahlianut and I'm a freezeaholic. My therapy is to scope out 7 weatherguys every day and pick the one with the best forecast. Does it work? Nope. So what do I do? I dance. Does it save the palnts? Nope. It's good for my mental health though. Don't be sad dear funny bird. Dance!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Amen, dahlianut. This year it was my apricots. Last year it was my early iris. It is always something. Usually it isn't everything though -- and that is something to celebrate.
Roybird,
If your iris don't make it, I have a nearly infinite supply, especially if you don't insist on knowing their names.
For me this year it is the critters. I spied an evil bunny in the vacant lot yesterday, sitting among the new grasses popping up and looking ever so innocent. But something has been chomping my iris from above and I see no deer prints or poop. I suspect that evil bunny.
And then something is going after them from below. Some keep getting pulled down long tunnels -- gophers, I suspect. I moved a lot of iris to the front yard where the bed rock underneath the garden prevents gophers from tunneling. But there isn't as much sun there and the iris don't grow as fast. May have something to do with the fact that there isn't as much soil there either.
But guess what has popped up and is showing gorgeous healthy leaves -- already! Foxtail lily. I have never grown them before but am so hoping this means they like it in my yard. They must have grown 4 inches in height and diameter while I was in Phoenix.
Sorry, if things are going badly for your plant babies, roybird. After the DBG sale you will have tons of replacements.

Santa Fe, NM

I'll wait and see. The iris and roses don't look good but the roses are resilient and the iris are tough, so ... I talked to Bob Pennington, the local hippie gardener, at his nursery yesterday. He has some fabulous roses this year and he gets kinds that no one else has plus the usual. He also has Lots of iris. Anyway, he was telling me that the Betty Pryor rose is from the rootstock of Dr. Huey. Many roses are. Dr. Huey is all over Santa Fe and I have one on the south side of the house. It is one tough red climber. He thinks, probably, the little rose I have coming up is Dr. Huey. Who is notoriously easy to propagate from root cuttings. The leaves match pretty well, too. That's exciting because it might do well in that spot and can fight for space with Sun Sprite and Lillian. The colors will clash awfully but the good Doctor only blooms once. If you wait, all manner of things will come to you! I did buy and plant more campanula and some interesting new sedums.

Littleton, CO(Zone 5a)

Honestly, I'd rather be dealing with crazy weather than wild varmints right now. The weather will normalized, the varmints, would be a constant battle. I've never really paid close attention to the weather before until after the fact. It has been an interesting learning experience.

Reno, NV

It'll get better soon. Mental warm days to everyone.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

What Sedums did you find roybird?

Santa Fe, NM

Oh gosh. I'm terrible with names. Pictures? This is pot A.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

This is pot B. There are only a billion kinds of sedum!

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

This is pot C. Not a great picture. It has seeds in the old flowers and new flowers budding.

Thumbnail by roybird
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oh, those are lovely. I must get myself to Agua Fria Nursery.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Very prettiful roybird!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Nice Sedums.

Santa Fe, NM

Thanks. They are certainly pleasant and easy to grow. I had a friend at one time who only grew sedums and white iris in his garden. It worked, too. More minimalist than I am but I can appreciate the look.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Interesting idea -- sedums and white iris. But I am not simple by nature. My gardens are always a jumble and more a collection than an artistic display. That's because I buy the plant then think about where to put it rather than plan a garden and buy the required plants to execute my design. My garden is that of a plant lover, not an artist. Luckily if you have a lot of flowers, people usually forgive you.
I was very bad today. I went to Santa Fe for a hair cut then stopped at a couple of nurseries on the way home. You wouldn't believe how those nursery owners mugged me and forced me to buy their plants. Neither does my husband.
I bought things, I would never advise buying right now -- tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos. What can I say? They just sat there looking beautiful and the next think I know they had jumped into my cart. I also bought several dahlias. Now true to my nature, I have to figure out where I have deep enough soil to plant them. Mind you, not where would they look nicest. I think the only place where they will have enough soil and light will be along the wall in the vacant lot among sunflowers and hollyhocks and brussels sprouts. See what I mean about an unplanned garden? But I love it and the neighbors are endlessly fascinated.
Yesterday, one of the neighbors told me that another neighbor had pointed out my iris reticulata to her. I thought they were so insignificant that no one would notice -- but two people did! They are awfully cute. I think I will plant them each year for the joy they bring in the spring -- even if they don't come back. They don't cost all that much.
A friend wants to help me in my veggie garden in order to learn gardening and for the veggies. She helped me plant fall spinach once a long time ago when she was having boy-friend troubles. I thought it would help her focus on something else.
She has never forgotten it and wants to do it again. She was amazed that the spinach grew and was useful. Lovely to teach someone to love gardening. She loved my swiss chard in previous years, so today I bought several pots of rainbow chard. She and I will have fun.

Littleton, CO(Zone 5a)

Nice stories Paj, thanks for sharing. I have a friend coming over tomorrow that has been impressed by all my new gardening skills. They don't have a lot of money due to her husbands cancer, so I'm going to divide a few things (pretty much all I have at this point) and help her with her shady areas in her yard.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

kTalia, that is a lovely thing to do. Gardens can be very healing and we all have extras we can pass around.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

kTalia you are an angel. Paj my dahlia antennae is humming! Which ones did you get?

Santa Fe, NM

Sounds like a great day! I visited a friend who recently spent 2 months in Australia. She is an artist/painter and photographer and did little paintings and kept wonderful journals of her trip. We took a walk around her neighborhood in the So. Capital area and she showed me a huge, Sequoia tree growing in someone's front yard. Very unusual for this climate, but doing well. It's on a drip system, for sure.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I have known of a number of Sequoias in Santa Fe and we have some in Los Alamos at the Unitarian church as well. They actually do fine here if you water them. One of my friends had one in her yard in Santa Fe that had been planted by her mother at least 25 yers before. It was large and beautiful but it died when Santa Fe had the water rationing situation a couple of years ago.
The one(s) at the Unitarian church in Los Alamos were planted by the founder of the church who was also a founder of the Save the Redwoods organization, Elmo Robinson. I wouldn't mind having one except the last thing in the world I need is another tree! I have more trees than is good for my lot already. That's what happens when a tree hugger gardens!

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