by Connie Oswald Stofko and Stephen Vermette
We’ve had some wild weather in the past week: lots of snow, wind, an official blizzard, and dangerously cold wind chills. But yesterday it felt like spring, with strong sun and temperatures around 60.
Now some areas have flooding, and more flooding is possible. Tomorrow we might get freezing rain. Later in the week the forecast is for rain, then snow.
Find out what you can do in your landscape in these changing conditions, and remember to enjoy the beauty in winter.
Your garden and wild winter weather
Here are some ideas for you and your landscape as we deal with Western New York’s fluctuating winter weather.
Mulch your perennials
When the temperatures dipped below zero Fahrenheit, we had snow cover. That snow cover was helpful to our perennials. Find out what you can do now to protect perennials from cold and what you can do in the future to help perennials survive the winter.
We don’t want anyone to slip on an icy sidewalk, but applying too much salt is a waste of money and can cause damage to the concrete. It can harm your plants, too. Plus, it can get into our waterways. In this tip sheet from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Onondaga County, find out which deicers to choose, learn how to apply deicers and get tips on planting to reduce plant damage from salt.
Find out about climate
Learn about climate change in our region and how to prepare for it during WNY Climate Conversations, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.
“Weathering Climate Change in WNY” will be presented by Stephen Vermette, professor of geography in the Department of Geography & Planning at Buffalo State College. “Dialogue Beyond Differences” will be presented by Jonathan Garlick, Tisch College Senior Fellow for Civic Science at Tufts University. A presentation on the “Zero Hour Youth Movement” will be given by Sohayla Eldeeb.
The event is free, but please register here to help the organizers plan.
Don’t panic if you see these bugs
As the weather warmed up, you may have been seeing large brown bugs in your house. They’re called brown marmorated stink bugs. They look gross, but they are harmless inside your house. However, they are an invasive species, and as their numbers grow, they may become a problem in our gardens.
See the beauty in winter
Stephen Vermette describes his artistic photos of leaf prints:
“I am constantly reminded of winter’s beauty, and of the surprising ways in which it is revealed.
“In this case, a stroll along a sidewalk, washed white by salt residue, revealed ghost forms from the previous season – leaf prints haloed by salt. Further along my walk I searched for salt-encrusted leaves still on the path, and then assisted mother nature by peeling them back to reveal their silhouettes.
“Yes, even the most sterile of environments – a concreate sidewalk covered in a salt wash – can reveal an ephemeral garden of beauty.”
See other information from Stephen Vermette in these articles: