Tuesday, April 21, 2015

As the Plants See It

As our plants experience it, the inclement season is almost over. Virtually every year they “go out” on May 5; “coming in” is more variable. In the last four years, they’ve come in on November 11 at the latest (in 2011) and October 18 at the earliest (2012). Going by the calendar alone, warm means May 1-October 30, cold means November 1-April 30. But to be on the safe side, we’ve tended to short the summer season, working at both ends, by about a week.

To be sure, the process itself is a little more raggedy-Ann-like. Every year some plants manage to make it out in April—and then, when weather forecasts turn us anxious, they have to be brought in again. Today is such a day. Happens every year. At the other end, we bring in plants too soon in Fall; but then, when a minor heat wave comes in late October or early November, plants already in must be taken out again—so that they may enjoy a few more days of the waning sun. In a general way, however, we’d rather be Now than Then. Then will come far too quickly now that time is speeding up—what with satellites and drones confusing everything.

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