Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
December, 2003
Regional Report

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Looking ahead to spring. "Are ALL the ponds in PA frozen solid like this?"

Looking Ahead

This year has been among the wettest on record, at least in the Washington, D.C. area. I know my own Pennsylvania yard and garden grew phenomenally well this season compared to those unspeakable drought years we have had recently. Maybe we are due for an "average" year, if such a thing exists.

Nature Unleashed
This year saw some furious wind storms, too, not the least of which was Isabelle. That hurricane took out so many trees across the region -- not just the notoriously weak-wooded Bradford pears and previously stressed or damaged trees, but also many grand old specimens. And not to be outdone, the early winter storms have already knocked out a few more trees. In my area, the latest snow storm toppled evergreens, especially that currently popular, fast-growing Leyland cypress.

Maybe next year some of the newly tree-less among us will enjoy new sunny areas of lawn or flower beds or veggie plots instead of the tree-shaded glens we had before. Maybe some of us will thoughtfully plan ahead, then select and replant with new trees to be enjoyed by future generations. Maybe next year some of us will be adding ground covers beneath trees now grown big enough to shade out the lawn grasses. Maybe next year some of us will plant great sweeps of ground cover over sunny areas, just so we can mow less.

Who's in Charge Here?
This is the joy of being a gardener, or maybe I should say, the joy and the challenge. What to plant, how to proceed, setting the goals, making them happen. Sometimes Mother Nature changes our plans for us, or provides us with new opportunities to help us move forward in a new direction.

Full Steam Ahead
Sometimes we look forward to the short term, sometimes we project our thinking across decades. But either way, we gardeners are always looking ahead. Happy New Year!

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