No! Not Yet !
We had the warmest day of the year in Chicago yesterday - a balmy 62 degrees. Even though I have an awful cold I just had to venture out and feel the sun on my back. It didn't make an appearance until late afternoon but it was enough to make me think that Spring would be early this year.
I had to look hard to see the bulbs that are peeking their heads above the ground and I wanted to shout : Not yet, my pretties, it's far too early. As a seasoned gardener I have known the heartbreak of seeing a hard freeze damage emerging Spring bloomers. Two years ago my 'Betty ' magnolia was frozen in bud and I thought she was done for, but miraculously she survived.
We are not past the danger point in Chicago until the middle or end of May so I have learned to be patient, and prepared. When early warmth causes the plants to come up prematurely and be subjected to a hard freeze I protect them with shredded mulch. Garden centers now carry mesh covers for shrubs and small trees that need covering during Spring frosts/freeze and I now use them to protect my early-blooming Asian Pear and the 'Betty ' magnolia .
While I always enjoy each and every day of sunshine I also worry that our Canadian friends will send us a blast of wintry weather to remind us that it ain't over yet.
The older I get the more I want to fly South with the birds. When friends down South tell me they had a bad winter I do sympathize with them ( for about a minute ) but then I know that it will go away as quickly as it came. If you've survived a Chicago, Minneapolis or Canadian winter then you know how rough it is.
We have hope now that the end is near and another gardening season is about to begin. May is certainly the stuff that dreams are made of.
Written by Carolyngail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago
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