What's Coming Up 209: Snow insulation, failed forsythia

February 18, 2014

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Keeping it brief, hoping you'll laugh

When you can't cry any more about a winter's trials, you just have to laugh. We think one day we'll look back and see this winter not as a disaster but as a richest-ever cache of tales-to-tell. For instance, this week we've posted just two stories:  The first, of clipping a handful of twigs; the second about digging through the snow to the garden. These adventures took three and thirty minutes, respectively but each has already netted us a heads up on spring plus stories to last decades.

Take a look at what we did. Maybe you'll follow suit.

In the 45mph garden: Nice no ice under the snow

Forsooth, forsaken by forsythia! That dead brown tip was the flower. Its flower bud tissues are not so hardy as the substance of the leaf buds. Thus it's common to see a forsythia that's fine in all regards after a cold winter -- except there's no bloom.

Forsooth, forsaken by forsythia! That dead brown tip was the flower. Its flower bud tissues are not so hardy as the substance of the leaf buds. Thus it's common to see a forsythia that's fine in all regards after a cold winter -- except there's no bloom.

Under all this snow, proof of life and a reason for laughter. What we found should allow gardeners throughout the north to laugh off dire predictions of flooding when "all this snow melts, with the ground 'so frozen.'"

Mistake's a lessson. Forsythia failure is apparent now...

...and solved by specialists in super-hardy-plants at University of Minnesota and University of North Dakota. Take a look at what our forsythia forcing revealed. Then nip a bud from your own bush and slice it open to see if those flowers fared as poorly as ours. If your bush's buds look like those we show you in this article, it's high time to think about replacing your forsythia with a hardier variety.

Coming next: Easy-from-seed perennials

We're assembling photos now for a list of perennials that are simple to grow from seed. This list is a collaboration between ourselves and five great growers. We think you'll love it and we also bet you have input. (Preview the draft article.) If you wish to nominate a perennial as easiest-to-grow from seed, email that to us. We'll include your report with the other experts'.

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