Year of the tulip
The world has been in what feels like an icy, suffocating winter ever since COVID-19 took over in early 2020. But even though some winters may feel never-ending, tulips popping up from frost-coated grass remind us that better times are on the horizon.
It’s because of this that 1-800-Flowers.com named the floral harbinger of spring as the 2022 flower of the year, mirroring a hopeful defrosting of the global pandemic with vaccines and treatments.
“The tulip is a joyful and happy flower that is the first sign of spring, and that connects to this year of joy,” says Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800-Flowers.com.
Boost curbside appeal
A survey done by trees.com found that landscaping can affect property values. The report found that 78% of real estate agents said poor landscaping and hardscaping negatively impacted property values, and 59% said that trees are the landscaping element that adds the most to a home.
Weather phenomenon’s impact
La Nina conditions are forecast to continue through the winter months according to the National Weather Service. Those trends favor colder than normal temperatures from Wisconsin out north and west, near normal temperatures from Colorado to Iowa, and warmer than normal south of that. The typical La Nina precipitation pattern favors above normal precipitation from the Ohio Valley through the Great Lakes and near normal elsewhere. With the wetter weather pattern in the Midwest, some drought near Wisconsin should ease. But drought should be expected to continue in Minnesota and the Dakotas, as well as Colorado and Nebraska.
Stormproof your yard
Natural disasters and climate change effects are all too familiar today. From floods to fires to erosion, landscaping for these unexpected issues is essential. Here are some ways to stormproof your yard from Gardening Know How and Garden Design.
Heavy winds can uproot even the strongest trees. Strategically placed windbreaks, like trees and shrubs with canopies that start close to the ground, can help. Evergreens provide year-round protection, as do arborvitae and ponderosa pine. Deciduous trees like sycamore and redbud also make natural windbreaks.
To build a defense against mud slides and erosion, planting native shrubs and trees can help. Mature trees and bushes with deep root systems can stabilize the ground. Deter wildfires by maintaining a clear, fire-safe zone around your house. Remove dead branches and shrubs. If possible, distance trees away from your house. Select drought-tolerant plants able to retain water — hardwood trees like cherry, poplar and maple trees and shrubs like lemonade berry, yucca and woolly blue curls. Avoid plants that have a lot of sap like conifers. Incorporate stone paths or walls that function as a firebreak.
To help with flooding or excessive rain, include permeable surfaces that allow water to percolate into soil. Select plants with deep roots for erosion control, or place water-loving plants in areas that collect water.