Love/Hate: Helen’s sense of snow

It isn’t every year that Toronto is blessed, yes blessed, with such an agglomeration of snow.

With the storms of the last week, I know it feels like the snow has been here forever. But think about it. As recently as January 8th, the Toronto Star had this to say about our typical post-New-Year weather:

“Toronto has experienced a January thaw every year since 1937, the earliest year for which records are available, except for 1977, the only year we did not have melting temperatures.”

I was out there for an hour myself this morning. Shovelling our walk (which my son had already tackled last night). Shovelling our neighbours’ walks. Helping a guy extricate his car from a snow bank. More shovelling.

But I remember garden centre guru Keith Squires once saying in a class he gave at what was once known as the Civic Garden Centre (now, the Toronto Botanical Garden):

“You know, gardeners in England really do envy our snow cover.”

Some plants really do need a winter blanket of snow to bloom at their best. And Toronto isn’t usually big in the winter blanket department.

So, this spring and summer, when you’re admiring the peonies, think back to February’s snow, turn east to face the British Isles, and repeat after me: Nyah, nyah, na nyah, nyah!


  1. I’m trying to make out whose neighborhood frond filled urn that is.
    Yes, the snow in our neighborhood has reached Alpine proportions. I think the house to the east of yours wins the prize for biggest mountain range. It is truly awesome.
    When piles of snow are as big as the ones we have now, I like to pretend I’m a giant walking beside a mountain range. It’s fun. Just an old childhood fantasy that gets resurrected in Februarys like this.

  2. I do like the title of this post. I actually slogged through the book, Smilla’s Sense of Snow. There certainly was a lot of snow in that.

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