Well, the great blizzard of December 26 and 27 is winding down as this is written. Medfield was one of the ‘jackpot’ communities with roughly 18 inches of snow on level ground. Of course, with 50-knot winds blowing almost continuously, undisturbed snow has been quite hard to find today. But the eighteen inches seems to be a reasonable guess.
|Planning for snow removal is part of|
planning for a New England garden
We are at the end of a cul-de-sac with a broad turning circle as part of our streetscape. The upside is that this gives us a very dramatic arc around which to design a garden. The downside is that the town plows have to put the snow from the other end of the street somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ includes the buffer zone between our sidewalk and the street. And, because the town lays down chemicals to keep the street passable prior to plowing, the snow that ends up on that buffer zone (variously called an ‘easement’ or a ‘hell strip’) is laden with salts that render the strip inhospitable to grass.
|This xeric bed - shown in its |
summer glory - was under
several feet of chemical-
laden snow today
The second issue is where we put the snow from our own driveway. We are set back 220 feet from the street on a meandering driveway and, at the head of the driveway, the asphalt widens out to 35 feet to feed a three-car garage, plus provide an additional backing-out area for cars. The home’s architect was apparently from some southern clime because the driveway dead-ends into the garage. As such, there is no ‘simple’ place to put snow. The problem grows geometrically with the depth of the snow and new snowfalls follow ones already on the ground.
|Removing 18 inches of snow - carefully|
|This burlap skirt for |
Thuja occidentalis was
added in November
|The wisteria bed was planned to |
support heavy snow cover
The back of the turnaround area has long been planted with Kirengeshoma (Japanese wax bells) and Hakonechola macra ‘Aureola’ (Golden Japanese forest grass), with miscellaneous rhododendron behind them. These perennials die back to the ground in late September; the several feet of snow that cover the area all winter seems to make the plants thrive in the growing season.