Grouse About The Rain, And This Is What You Get

So apparently the weather gods took note of my last post complaining about our torrential rains and flooding. The weather gods don’t appreciate malcontents. Yesterday I drove home from downstate. Flooded roads and highways turned my usual four hour drive into an eight hour trek. ¬†When I woke up at home the next morning, the …

April Showers OK, But This Is Ridiculous

When she emailed me the photo below, Judy asked if this is what they mean by an island bed. The Chicago area got 5″ of rain last night. Rain continued through the day, and more heavy rain is expected tonight. Streets and basements are flooded – though thankfully our own basement has been OK so …

5 Reasons To Be Grateful We Are Not Having An Early Spring

Mother Nature is a tease. Since early February here in Chicago, we have several times been granted a couple of lovely mild days. The snow would melt. Us gardeners would tentatively venture out to sniff the air and perhaps prune a shrub or two. We would start to think – this is it, we’re having …

2012, the Year of Unnerving Weather

Extreme weather dominates my thoughts about gardening for this past year. It started with extreme winter mildness. This may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it was unnerving for those of us accustomed to harsh Chicago winters. January was about 8 degrees warmer than normal on average. Snow melted, the snowdrops (Galanthus) came up …

The Bird Jacuzzi: Who Says it’s Ridiculous?

Notwithstanding climate change, we can have some pretty harsh winters here in the Chicago area. During these winters, birds find fresh water even harder to come by than food. And that’s why I bought my heated bird bath from Wild Birds Unlimited, or as I call it, the Bird Jacuzzi. I just recently set up …

Drought, Deadly Nightshade, and a Happy Birthday

Yesterday we drove up to St. Paul, Minnesota, to celebrate my birthday with my younger son, my brother Richard, and his wife Diane. When we get to St. Paul, we like to take a little hike at Minnehaha Park, site of the waterfalls made famous, though never actually visited, by the poet Longfellow (“By the …