The 2006/2007 winter season has been one of the strangest ones I remember. The warm temperatures were bound to end at some point and a cold snap and bare ground leads to certain death for many plants. In the morning, I go outside with the dogs and watch some of my plants starting to show signs of suffering from the odd temperatures and it just makes me cringe.
Then, as if Mother Nature was looking down on all of us, we get a nice snowfall. I'm sure many people out there are cursing and swearing about poor driving or the excess of shovelling, but I'm happy. Sure, driving is bad, but just drive really slow. Shovelling is a pain, but at least we get our exercise during the winter.
The timing couldn't be better. A few cold nights put the frost into the ground which keeps the snow around. The temperature got cold, but since there wasn't much frost in the ground, it was buffered a little. Fluffy snow, and a good dose of it, is like a giant insulating mat over the plants. Just think of it as a nice down comforter on a chilly winter night for your plants. It's especially timely when followed by a bitter deep-freeze.
Now I can sleep at night again. My garden can rest through the winter without nearly as much risk of death. The strawberries are well covered so I can again hope for some nice berries in the summer. All in all, life's good, even if there is a pile of snow on the ground!