Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time and Tide, Weather, Too

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family. KCB can also be found at

Geoffrey Chaucer is reported to have said, “Time and Tide wait for no man”, meaning no one can change the course of either. Perhaps England was more tepid in the late 1300s; if he found himself transported to 2010 he would surely include weather. ‘Time, Tide and Temperature...’ may have been the modern day quote.

Our Nation’s Capital is again paralyzed by record breaking snow-fall. Mid-Atlantic States can’t seem to dig themselves out. Global Warming? Climate Change? Cyclical….!? For a few days the streets were frozen in time until all was cleared away.

The sensible, adult and somewhat lazy part of me is glad that it is they and not we. I do not relish having to play musical parking spots, stretching and twisting in an attempt to clean all the snow from my truck, shoveling a path to my door or donning so many layers when I venture out, my arms stay nearly outstretched for all the bulk. Not to mention all the time it takes dealing with the forces of nature.

Still, I want more snow. It is only February. Maine has a propensity to be the brunt of plowable storms as late as April. I don’t want it in April. My shrubs, perennials and spring bulbs do not want it in April. The garden beds and lawns of Maine do not want it in April. All are longing for the insulating blanket. The time is NOW!

February worries feel more comfortable when concerned with the cost of heat, gasoline, the lack of really good strawberries or why doesn’t a Golden Retriever ever win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

I am aware that there are some within this reading audience that may be more endowed with the white stuff. Many of my gardens are on the coast and demand to be wrapped in snow.

Additionally, I am riddled with guilt; my back yard is dotted with shrubs and perennials pulled from the earth this fall. While they await the perfect home come spring, their balls of dirt and root are protected with organic compost. A substantial snow fall is key for additional protection. Winters past this practice brought forth favorable results. This may not work this winter. Will their demise be my burden to bear or is this just the nature of nature? Only time will tell.

Other worries; will the lack of precipitation during the dormant season bring cause for the earth to hydrate when time is better served clearing and planting?

There is only so much we can do to prepare for the spring. Weather has to take its own course.

To pass the time we have our seed catalogs. Nursery and garden center open houses wait in anticipation for the faithful to pass through their doors. The Portland Flower Show will again display blooms forced to beauty and fragrance way before their time.
As I look forward to the aforementioned events, excitement and eagerness push away the negativity. I have no time to fret about the things I cannot change. Perhaps I will not be making as many snow angels this season. Yet the season is not over, there is plenty of time.

Time and Tide may not wait for us. Just live each day to the fullest. If this means surrounding ourselves with the things and people that make us happy, then time will pass all much too quickly….

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
February 10, 2010

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