Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Locked in the Freezer of Doom

If you've watched any TV at all, you're probably familiar with the "Locked in the Freezer Together" scenario. It's used so often it's been designated a TV trope. If you don't know what it is, you can read about it here.

For the past week, and for the immediately foreseeable future, it has been and will be my life. We had snow two weekends ago, and just as it was thawing, we got more, a whole series of snowstorms, this past weekend, and now today we're getting more snow as I write, which may turn into rain, or maybe freezing rain.

It's hard to tell.

For the Northeast or the Midwest this would be a nothing-burder, but none of the towns hereabouts has the equipment to deal with snow, and it snows so seldom few people know how to drive properly in it either. Many of them crow so loudly with joy whenever it snows I wouldn't be surprised if they consider it an occasion for a joyride. Because of this everything closes down, and in fact, the governor has declared a state of emergency, and the rest of the country is laughing at us.

The first snow -- about 3 or 4 inches -- fell two weekends ago, i.e., not this weekend just past, but the one before. By Friday morning a good amount of it had melted, and to keep myself sane, I was spending a few hours every day out in the greenhouse, sowing seeds.

The view from the front door after the first snow

Still quite a lot on the back steps, even after a week of thaw

Ice in the stream

A well-worn path from the front door to the greenhouse

The Green Man looking for spring

Tulips that thought spring was here -- Hahaha! Fooled you

Eranthis popping up through the snow


Then Friday evening came. When I went out at 11 p.m. to turn on the propane heater in the greenhouse, the front garden looked like this.

That misshapen lump in the center is a normally 10-foot tall Arctostaphylos -- I had already gone out once to shake the snow off it

You can see my footprints in the snow leading to the greenhouse door -- fortunately the snow was fluffy enough that I could use the door to push it out of the way

View into the back garden from the kitchen window on Saturday morning

This was considerably more than the previous snowfall -- depending on where we measured, it was either 7 1/2 (closest to the house) or 10 inches (on top of the yard waste bins).

Nigel went out and shoveled the driveway -- he took his time and shoveled in shifts.

He also shoveled me a path to the greenhouse

I shook off the Arcto's branches and they sprang up, and hopefully it will recover. Unfortunately this was not the last time this past weekend that I had to brush it off with a broom

Palms got the snow shaken off too

This bare-limbed Styrax was strangely bent nearly double with snow, I had to shake it off too

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' also freed from snow, not for the last time

On Sunday morning we had blue skies and sunshine. Through the upstairs bedroom windows I took some photos of the Douglas firs that surround our house and tower over it.

And I couldn't resist taking some photos of my one safe haven through all of this -- the greenhouse, which smells so wonderful I would be tempted to sleep out there if I had room for a bed.

By Sunday afternoon the skies had darkened and it started snowing again, off and on. Overnight we got another 4 inches. Nigel once again shoveled the driveway, while I got the broom out and swept and shook snow from shrubs.

The snowbanks along the driveway are getting pretty tall -- not counting trips to Mt. Rainier, I haven't seen banks this big since we left Massachusetts 10 years ago

If you've seen my blog before, or have been to my garden, then you have some idea just how big that culvert planter is


Palm, free of snow, but in deeper

Arbutus unedo, free again

Tracks from a neighbor's cat

As I write this, it is once again snowing, although the weather forecast claims it will soon turn to rain.  Will it turn to freezing rain (not so easily knocked off plants)? We have plenty of food, so we won't have to resort to eating the cat, and I doubt the neighbors will discover in a few days that the cat has eaten us. Will winter life in Seattle return to normal in time for the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival next week? I have to admit, as far as brooms go, I would much rather be riding mine than using it to knock snow off plants.

Then again, perhaps I should just build a snowman and allow him to take me flying in the air.

Walking In The Air


  1. Saw a headline that this is the biggest accumulation there since the 1940s. Glad the greenhouse is a mental safety valve; it's a wonderland in there. Best wishes for a steady, unchaotic melt and march to spring.

  2. Crikey Alison, you've been transported back to Mass ! We've had days and days of rain down here in Cal , and cold too (by my definition of cold)and I'm almost looking forward to my dreaded annual business rip to Florida next week. Your green head planter with the Hindu rope Hoya is inspired !

  3. And here we're complaining about temperatures in the 50s...We out-wimp you. I hope your garden comes through the onslaught relatively unscathed!

  4. We think the rain/snow mix has arrived, but will it turn to ice? What will we find in the morning?

  5. You know where I stand on this insanity. Here’s hoping things have taken a turn and it’s a fairly quick trip back to normal. Other than the bent and weighted down plants are there any under all that snow that you’re worried about?

    I WILL see you next week at the NWFGF dammit!

  6. Hope it all soon goes, stay safe and warm!

  7. I can see why the greenhouse is a refuge, but you didn't say what makes smell so good. Any particular bloom?
    Of course we'll be back to normal for the flower and garden show. I insist.

  8. It's been raining here since last night and it feels like snowmageddon is waning. However, the slushy roads will probably freeze overnight making driving even more treacherous. Much as I've enjoyed this unplanned break from work, worrying about the roof collapsing or a huge tree falling on the house is no fun.

  9. I hope things get back to normal for you very soon, Alison. I can't imagine what it must be like to venture out onto the roads when people are not used to driving in snow and icy conditions. Even here in the snowbelt, I tend to refrain from going out until after the first snowstorm to let the rookies run in the ditch and cause accidents for awhile. Sometimes I just don't know what the drivers around here are thinking either, though; yes, you can go through very deep snow with a 4WD vehicle, but they forget their brakes don't work on ice. Ha. This was our what? fourteenth significant snowfall this season, and there were a few cars in the ditch here and there again today, I guess some of them are slow learners. We've just had Snowstorm Destiny do her thing, 14" of snow so far, and now the wind is picking up, so here we go with drifting for tomorrow, but it's just another winter in Wisconsin. I hope your trees and plants pull through. It's so darn hard to lose plants you've had for years. This winter is being rough on ours, too, especially the extreme cold last month. Hang on, this can't last forever.

  10. OMG. No, we are not laughing at you here. We hope you all and your gardens will be okay. Icy roads are scary. Amazing snow shots. The palm/snow combination is staggering for a SoCal native.

    Don't try to eat the cat. You'll just make the cat mad, and you know how they are when they are mad.

  11. Incredible -- and they say there's global warming!! JK of course, just felt like imitating a doofus ;)

    Love The Snowman!! For Christmas celebrations I had it all ready as background entertainment, thinking we'd all get warm and fuzzy and nostalgic -- and nobody had seen it! Complete fail in the nostalgia department. Bet your kids are about the same age as mine...

  12. That does not look like the PNW. Maybe I would feel at home there after all. Nigel is right to shovel in shifts - that's what I always do. The Tulips will be perfectly fine.


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