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The winter of 2015 in Western NY was one of superlatives, and not in a good way. In November, a surprise snow storm trapped us in our home for five days. Home snow blowers were worthless in the chest high drifts, and it didn’t end there. As the winter progressed, we saw sub-zero temperatures daily; a January thaw never happened. Snow piled up, leaks developed, men climbed on roofs to shovel, and greenhouses collapsed.

 

That fateful November day my small greenhouse was crammed full of geranium

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‘mothers’ and plants which needed protection from our 4/5 agricultural zone (wandering jew, Swedish ivy, assorted house plants). A veritable avalanche cascaded down the new roof of the barn and destroyed the middle of the greenhouse, filling it with snow/ice. A few plants survived, and the roof was repaired within the month, but my eyes tear up when I look at the large patio pot which housed the variegated geranium I had owned for years.

 

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Now, outside the cherry trees are in full manic bloom. My wee greenhouse, strengthened with extra supports, is crammed with seedlings ready to find new homes. Alliums are budding as daffodils/narcissi/tulips fade. My perennial plants are mature now, and I mow too many acres, but my yard seems undeterred by the harsh winter. The many flowering shrubs, suitable to zone 4 and informally planted, are a joy and require little care.

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Writer/gardener Emma Janis Lane

 

Gardener/writer Emma Janis Lane is part owner of a “Herbtique and Plant Nursery” Her favorite thing about gardening is the anticipation of a new (or better) season. When she’s not gardening she’s writing sweet Traditional Regency Romance as Emma Lane, but delights in dipping into a Cozy Romantic Mystery as Janis Lane in between sipping tea with sweet biscuits and an occasional duke. You can learn more about her or ask her gardening questions at www.emmajlane.com

 

 

 

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