My Garden in Snow

HAS SPRING ALREADY ARRIVED IN YOUR REGION? Here in New York’s Hudson Valley, we’re still engulfed in winter’s frigid hug. In fact, on February 14, mega-storm “Pax” delivered two feet of snow. The aftermath of the storm in this sparkling white garden tour:

I attempted to walk around the property in order to give you a “proper” winter garden tour. But I quickly gave up. After photographing the front and one side of our house, I realized I couldn’t safely maneuver in snow that comes above my knees.

And what would happen if I should fall, and couldn’t get up — just like the lady in the medi-alert commercial?

Well, no one would find me. Except, perhaps a St. Bernard.

A St. Bernard which, in a perfect world, would have a large keg of whiskey in tow.

Some of the following photos were shot from inside the house:

Here’s the rose garden, as viewed from my attic window with a zoom lens. The ice cream cone-shaped item is one of a pair of three-tiered fountains in the garden.  Click to see this garden in June.

That’s a robin on the crabapple tree in the rose garden. Hundreds of these “harbingers of spring” have spent the winter here. I suspect they are sorry they didn’t migrate south.

And here’s the Herb Garden, which looks very different in spring.

Just try to open this gate.

The Serpentine Garden.  Beneath its frosty coat are hundreds of bulbs.  Here’s a warm-weather view.

At the top of the hill are the Pool, Kitchen, and Woodland Gardens. But we won’t be visiting these today, because the hill is steep, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a whiskey-towing St. Bernard in my neck of the woods.

So tell me…what’s the late-winter view from your own windows? Is your garden cloaked in white, like mine? You can let me know by leaving a comment. Surely some of you Southerners will taunt us Northerners with tales of crocuses blooming, tulips emerging, and winter-sown seeds sprouting. Don’t worry. We’ll still love you.

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More fun:
Easy-Peasy Cheese Crackers
Salmon Almondine
A Tuscan Treat: Panna Cotta


  1. badger gardener says:

    Here in WI we have had snow cover since the weekend before Thanksgiving. I think there have been three days above freezing all winter so it has never had a chance to melt. I love the snow but with March only days away I am ready for a thaw. I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the soil to be okay for digging. I’m anticipating we are all going to have a very busy April trying to catch up on tasks usually handled in March.

  2. Here in central Mississippi we’re snow free after two weird late winter snows in February and today is overcast and gloomy which is doubly depressing after Sunday and Monday’s near 70 degree highs and gorgeous sunshine. The daffodils are starting to bloom and the trees are beginning to bud. I know we’ll have one more cold week somewhere around Easter because that’s just how Southern springs are. Hope you thaw out quickly! There’s a reason my family never moved above Memphis!

  3. greenjeans957 says:

    Hey Kevin, It’s great to see that even under dire circumstances you have not lost your wonderful sense of humor. I love the snow covered views and love even more the linked warmer days pictures. I am in the Piedmont of North Carolina and our weather too has been up and down. About two weeks ago we had 8 inches of snow only to have days in the 70’s this past weekend. I am ashamed to admit that I do not have anything blooming in my yard this month, as I am seeing things bloom everywhere else. The blooms are breaking on the cherry trees in the neighborhood and the forsythia and red buds are also showing color. I must put bloomers in the plan for next February. Hope you see a thaw very soon!

  4. Robin Hamann says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love snow (only to look at it)! Visited my family in Iowa last week, glad to be home in N. California!

  5. We’re in the same boat here (I’m in the Hudson Valley too). I’m happy to report that the few days we just had that allowed some thawing revealed that lots of the smashed down to the ground bushes have popped back up when relieved of their burdens of snow. 🙂 Thanks to poor insulation the snow on most areas of the roof has melted. If one pesky ice damn in the gutter over the kitchen had melted completely, I’d be perfectly content. But at least I’m over the fear of impending roof collapse doom!

  6. Gay sullivan says:

    Hi Kevin , my garden looks like yours but definitely not on such a grand scale! We (in Pawling)also had a nice thaw over the weekend but I live on the end of a small cul-de-sac and guess where the humongous dirty snowplow pile is?? You guessed it….right I front of my house. We are taking bets on when it will be totally gone….I say June ! Love your posts.

  7. Michelle L. says:

    I love your winter views of your garden. I am fortunate to live in So. California where there has been no winter at all. I dream about a winter such as yours and I enjoy your pics of your garden throughout the year. Stay warm and dry. And always pack an emergency supply of whiskey *;)

  8. My Tête-à-tête daffodils are just starting their cheery bloom, for which I am extremely grateful. Wish I could send you a bouquet of them, Kevin!

  9. Here in SW Missouri, we have been alternating between mid-60s and low teens, with no snow cover for insulation. I have hellebores, snowdrops and iris reticulata blooming, but no winter-sown seeds sprouting yet. I assume we will have at least one more big snowfall before real spring is here. I don’t envy you your beautiful snow, but this seesaw temperature is cracking my winter-weary bones!

  10. Here in New Mexico, my hyacinths are blooming right out of the ground because I didn’t think to refrigerate the bulbs! But they are still beautiful and smell delicious 🙂

  11. Here in Spain (this way you have a broader view) we’re also having a longer winter, even if you don’t believe it. Our highest temperature, and that was on Sunday when we had a wonderful day for a change, was 50ºF. We had a little snow 2 weeks ago so although we can see more than white around spring is taking longer to arrive. I have some crocuses sprouting, hyacinyths, and some very very shy daffodils sprouting too, but for the tiem being nothing else. We are receiving the leftovers of some of your storms, not as harsh but still there. Hoping that as Badger said before this doesn’t mean that work would be piled up for later on.

  12. Still snow-covered in Central NJ. I’ve been feeding the birds and have a heated birdbath out for them. I’m rewarded with photos of dark-eyed juncos, downy woodpeckers, and swarms of starlings.

  13. Okaaayyy….I am on the coast line down in GA, warm temps. here all week and last. winter Sowing is going so well, i am still planting and getting more and more. I have over 1000 done up, and they are still producing more and more sprouts… Its like Christmas for us gardeners here…. Trying to start a flower business this year, so hoping for the best… here is a sneaky peak at some of them i uncovered today to let some sunshine in….

    Thats only a few of them. Alyssums (white) only take 4 days to come up. I noticed the pink ones are longer. And the 2-liter green tinted bottles take longer to sprout than the clear water jugs or milk jugs. I have recently switched to tray greenhouses that i got on clearance last year at the end of the season for a nickle each. Hope you enjoyed my success with the inter sowing so far!

  14. I grew up in upstate NY and my Dad loved snowy winters, he said snow was “poor man’s fertilizer” and that is did wonders for the garden. We’ll be getting another snowstorm here in east-central IL this weekend and I hope to have a great garden as a result of all the snow this winter!

  15. hi Kevin
    here in U K we have still got rain, rain rain and more rain,everything is sodden with moss it hardly stopped raining since Xmas eve,your garden is unbelievable, what will happen if you get a quick thaw?the world has gone mad!!!!! it is very worrying,but the garden looks beautiful in its white overcoat.I only got to plant my winter sowing a week ago i hope they take,i did just what you showed had to be done,fingers crossed,thanks for the (computer magazine!!)love every bit of it.
    thanks Yvonne Moram.

  16. I love your pictures. I grew up in Millbrook & Amenia and your pictures here, they “look like home.” Now living in GA, the little “ice storms” we keep getting are nothing like a NY winter. Your house is beautiful, makes me think of my Grandparents farm they used to have in So. Amenia.

  17. My friend’s husband (Toledo, OH) was so missing spring that he placed 2 real tulips in the snow to brighten the day.

  18. Elaine ransom says:

    Here in B.C. N. Of Idaho,& Montana and overlooking the Rockies, we have more snow than usual for the time of year, for which we are grateful . Usually by mid March we are looking for the first wild prairie crocus. Even the birds have been scarce this year.did they know something we didn’t ? night temps have been in the minus F. Zone frequently, not normal for the end of Feb, beginning of March .

  19. Mary Johnson says:

    Here in Alaska we are enjoying an unusually mild winter. Record setting highs for January and February, with reasonable amounts of snow and wind. I wish all of our winters were this easy! Eight more weeks and we can begin our early spring garden clean-up. Love your posts!

  20. also living in ny i have been buried in snow 26 out of 28 days just in Feb alone! ready for spring and my garden, worried about what plants/bushes i will find smashed under the snow. i have the feeling this will be a redo year..ugh

  21. here in Kansas City, it is 2 degrees and sleeting. At least when all of your snow melts, the moisture will be so good for your gardens! we are really dry, hope we get some spring showers!

  22. Tricia B. says:

    Just west of Chicago we got another couple of inches last night on top of the snow pack that has been there all winter. At least it brightens up the city sludge. My pussy willow buds are fat; I’d bring some branches inside if I could reach the bush!

  23. I’m in southern Ontario, just east of Toronto and we got another 5 inches of snow last night! My tiny townhouse garden does look beautiful and heading out for a winter hike this afternoon! Loving all the snow this winter, but can’t wait for spring and the chance to get back out in my garden! New to your site Kevin and thoroughly enjoy my newsletter with my Sunday morning tea!

  24. sherry kanoski says:

    I am Sherry from the new age Michigan Glacier in SW Michigan. I live a mile from Lake Michigan. Usually it is fun to watch winter’s stormy waves break on the ice near the shore. But this winter, the reports are that the ice has covered 88% of the lake. We see white, creaking ice all the way to the horizon and almost to Chicago!! What has Ole Man Winter done? We’ll have icebergs till the summer equinox!!!

  25. sherry kanoski says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I have been buying bird seed like crazy cuz the poor birds cannot find food! They have eaten all the seeds from the stalks of last season’s plants that I leave standing for them all winter! Poor things…the squirrels, too. I haven’t the heart to tell them the seed is for birds only! So glad I don’t have to climb or fly around in zero degree weather for my dinner!!

  26. Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says:

    We’ve got nothing showing but snow-covered whiteness to every horizon. And tonight we are getting another 3 – 6″ of snow. Most of the current snow cover has thick ice at the base of it. Nomally, my Snowdrops would be up and showing small white buds about now. I miss them. I’d even gladly look at a weed right now.

  27. sherry kanoski says:

    Sorry, one more note!! My hubby was a cop & always advised everyone, especially those that live alone or don’t have Medi-Alert…..carry a fully charged cell phone on your person at all times….just in case!

  28. Janice in Black Creek, BC says:

    An unusually snowy winter, here on the wet coast. Had a serious dump a couple of weeks ago and it has stayed. While it was dumping (snowing seriously) the power went out–trees on the line, and we coped for a few days. Wood stove in the unfinished basement to take the chill off, and a propane cook stove and Lots of layers of clothes, and oil lamps, and early to bed. Sunday morning at 9am and it is snowing again.
    I awoke one 2am to see brilliant colours reflecting off the snow laden trees. Blue flashes and red and yellow glows lighting up the entire area. We are in the country, and can barely make out the neighboring houses through the trees. There was an electrical fire apparently on our neighbors property. Humming and flashing blue and red and yellow. Then the emergency vehicles added their blue and red and yellow flashes as they blocked off the road. A power pole was grounded out and burning merrily. Once the fire was out, they had to replace the pole before we could get power. I certainly admire and am grateful to the Power Crews. Bless them.

  29. Joan Handy says:

    Global warming is in full effect in Utah and the West. We had snow in November and December in the Salt Lake Valley and since then almost no moisture at all. We usually get a February thaw of a few days before it goes back to being winter but this winter we’ve had high 50’s to low 60’s nearly the entire month! Luckily we got some rain storms in the valley with snow in the mountains the last couple of weeks or we’d have been seriously in a drought situation. We still need more moisture this spring. Bulbs are blooming and sap is running in the fruit trees so frost could really wreak havoc on our fruit.

  30. We have had so much snow we are running out of places to put it! My husband is outside now, snow-blowing our recent crop of snow received overnight. Our Wingbark tree looks like it is decorated for Christmas with the dozen or more Cardinals waiting their turn at the feeders.

    On the ‘bright-side’, the Red-Wing Blackbirds are back, we have a few Robins, and the bird song is starting to change to their spring tunes. I know that somewhere under all this white there are flowers waiting to pop, and just outside my home office window is my herb garden waiting to burst forth! The sun is climbing higher and higher in the sky, and days are getting longer. Spring will be here soon, she’s giving us constant clues!

    And tax season ends April 15th – Hurray!!!! Six weeks plus two days and I’m there!

  31. Suzanne K says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely snow pictures! I grew up with snow and am now a fair weather person, avoiding snow except for pictures and an occasional ski trip. I’m in So Cal and just got thru with much, much, much needed rain. Just before the storms, I checked on a couple of tomato plants that I started in water last fall when I cut down the summer tomato plants. They rooted and got transplanted to pots a few months ago. We had such a nice warm spell (albeit super dry) that they were actually blooming! I doubt that I’ll get tomatoes from them quite yet, but wow!

  32. 115″ of snow and counting. (March and April storms are usually the worst.) Pathways and some driveways are snow-walled canyons. Must carry the shovels full of snow to find a place low enough to toss it. Throw in -35 to -45 wind chills just for good measure.

    It’s been a long winter for everyone.

    Looking forward to spring crocuses after the meltdown.

  33. First crocus today on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, nestled under a white pine! Garden is barren and muddy, with a foot of snow forecast for tomorrow. Spring HAS to arrive for real, one of these days!

  34. We are in for another below zero blast this weekend. We’ve had over 70 days of below zero temps. so far. Usually we have maybe 15 days in a whole winter. We’ve also got twice our normal amount of snow. My path back to my compost pile has been filled in with snow many times. Now I’ll have to make a new path thru over knee-deep snow to empty my collection of pails. I’m using my last pail right now, so do need to empty them. It’s been a real long winter and everyone is sick of the cold temps. and all the snow. Most roads still have icy patches and some intersections are really treacherous. The salt they put on the roads doesn’t work when it’s really cold. I’m thinking our Spring is still a long ways off = months for sure. We typically get a lot of snow in March and it’s the heavy wet kind. Maybe the snow will be melted by June. Before that though, we have to deal with rivers flooding, not me personally but many live along the Mississippi River in my town. The Red River up by Fargo/Moorehead usually floods and that’s a huge mess. The land is so flat up there that once the river gets out of it’s banks, there’s nothing to stop it. Hundreds of acres of farmland flood. Flowers can’t come soon enough for me. I’m also wondering how my shrubs are faring under the weight of all the snow we have.

  35. In “sunny” FL it is rain, more rain, and lots more rain. I’m at the northern part of the state so it’s cold rain. But what’s really scary is we haven’t hit our “rainy” season yet. My garden is underwater. You really can’t plant anything when your sinking ankle deep in watery muck. Yuck!

  36. KEVIN: Here in Smithers, north central British Columbia, Canada, we are Zone 2. I am curious to know what your zone is in the Hudson Valley as you seem to get much the same weather and growing conditions as here. This winter, we have about 2 ft. of snow on the ground now and get periods when the thermometer dips down to -20C. Now with the sun getting stronger that means we get very icy conditions when things warm up. This morning it was -22C and my noon likely will be -5 to -10C. Next week supposed to get warmer – let’s hope! Have some lovely forced hyacinths on the kitchen table which gives the illusion of Spring around the corner.

  37. Henrietta says:

    Overnight we received between 3-4 inches of new snow which covered the ground where earlier the snow had melted off. Also my milk jugs are now recovered with snow. However, I am enjoying flowering primroses, Christmas cactus, violets and forced crocus blooming on my kitchen window

  38. Here in Friesland- Netherlands, we have not seen 1 drop of snow. It is warm for the time of the year, about 10 degrees C and no frost at night! Crocusses are blooming, daffodils are ready to pop open, the helleboris has about 120 flowers, and most strange of all: one hydrangea started blooming halfway januari!
    The birds are starting to sing and to make love and looking for twigs to build their nestst. i even did see a butterfly a few days back and a bumblebee.
    Although I am happy there was no frost and snow I am realy worried about what the climate is doing these days.

  39. Susan M. says:

    I’m twenty miles south of the Canadian border in NY and the ice storm we had before Christmas deposited a thick layer of ice that is still there, under the snow we’ve had since then. I haven’t seen my garden soil for months, but am looking hopefully forward to the emergence of the many new bulbs I put in last fall. We are used to long winters here, but this one has been unusually cold. Have only been out on Xcountry skis once, but I wouldn’t mind at all if we had no more new snow before the maple sap begins to run!

  40. Sigh.. yes.. my garden looks just like yours… hidden! Yours is still beautiful! 🙂

  41. About 5″ of new snow this weekend here in north central Iowa. HIGH temp today of -2°! Love your posts! We have a Last frost date of May 15 so can’t get too anxious for putting plants out! It’s been a long winter. .

  42. Lynn Rector says:

    Here in central coast CA we only got one week of winter back in late Nov. Since then the plants are totally confused, the day temps range between 65 and 80’s, nights drop down to 30s and 40s, serious lack of rain. We’re facing water rationing with serious fines, some communities only have 3 months resevoir left, deer have no food so are invading the towns. My garden has been eaten to the ground by the deer so now it is ringed in multiple strands of fishing line, and ringed with motion detector lights. The lights caused quite a light show the other night when we got high winds and finally some much needed rain.

  43. The photos of your garden are beautiful, even in the throes of a record-setting winter. Looking forward to your cookbook~your recipes are yummy and “do-able”!

  44. Hi Kevin
    We are still under a couple of feet of snow in the lower thumb are of Michigan. While it is beautiful, I haven’t started any winter sowing yet as we are still getting below zero alot of nights (and days:{ It didn’t work very well last year, we didn’t have near the snow we had this year, so maybe not enough insulation? I can’t help remembering when we lived in Colorado how today I would be putting in my garden. In the ground. With row covers but still….! (sigh)
    Anyway, I love reading your site, and all the great comments. Your gardens are beautiful even in the winter.

  45. Lovely photos, especially the red red robin.
    We haven’t had as much snow as you, here in NE Ohio, but have had sub-freezing, sub-zero temps for several weeks now, with a few days above freezing, just enough to thaw things during the day, so they can freeze again when temps plummet at night, and make for fun driving. Spent a couple of hours today shoveling the driveway.
    How’s Miss Lily holding up?

  46. garden lady says:

    Loved the winter pictures of your gardens especially when I segued to your Spring pictures. Love this site & your great sense of humor. We (South of Boston) are waiting for more snow tonight & tomorrow. I did notice a small snowdrop with a few buds on it today where some of the old snow has melted. (There’s hope!) I also have a Zepherine Drouhin rose on my front arbor with a New Dawn (thorny) on the other side so they grow together over the top. The fragrance is fantastic! Can’t wait for Spring. Need to play in the dirt again!

  47. Paula K says:

    LIve Beverly in SE PA, we are still snow covered, like a layer cake of snow, ice, snow, ice. walking is fun, sometimes you fall thru and sometimes you dont. We are getting ready to get bids on white pines that must be taken down, the ice storm destroyed them to the point they cannot be saved,,,,planted by my grandfather 63 years ago….so they have outlived their typical 50 yr lifespan. It is still sad. The property will look SO different when they are gone.

  48. Here in the Great NorthWoods the frost line is eight feet deep with no sign of stopping. Wind chills have been dangerously low for days and days. The concern is once the temps do climb the mountains of snow will cause flooding; there will be no opportunity for the water to sink into the earth. With all the forests we need that wonderful snow melt to be absorbed.

  49. Donna Dunbar says:

    Here in the high desert of AZ, we have had a very dry winter. Even still my green onions are coming up, the mums are showing tiny green leaves close to the ground and I have seen a few bulbs coming up. Not sure what the bulbs are, a neighbor shared them with me. I started watering a few weeks ago to remind the plants it was time to wake up. Just this weekend, after 70 dry days in a row…we got rain. In the next week or so I’m sure every weed out there will start to sprout and get me in the mood for gardening as I’ll be out there pulling goatheads, tumble weeds and all sorts of prickly, spiny desert plants. Because of our elevation, planting starts at the end of May. I can’t wait to get going on the veggie garden. A friend has llamas and I will be collecting “beans” for the next 2 months to till in. I enjoy all aspects of being outside working my land.

  50. We enjoyed a beautiful 83 degrees on Saturday in Haltom City, Texas. The daffodils have been blooming for about a week and the roses have already started to sprout their leaves. But today…Sunday it’s freezing rain with thunder! Tomorrow morning’s wind chill is suppose to be -7. My daffodils are gone…but I’m hoping the buckets that I placed over the rose cutting for protection will survive. Oh, they’re forecasting 75 degrees by next Saturday! My poor plants are going to be so confused!

  51. Sooo tired of the snow and cold this year in PA. You know it’s a bad year when you find Possoms at your birdfeeder digging in the snow at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I did get all my seeds out in their milk jugs. Thank you for that tip!

  52. Hello, My first time to try this comment thing. But, coming from a southerner, I have to say my daffodils are blooming beautifully. with hyacinths, Iris, and others coming up too. Still anxiously waiting to see what will happen with my first time milk jug planters. Only see a few tiny sprouts so far.

  53. ToniBeth says:

    I am new to your garden posts.
    But I am truly enjoying them. I am a gardener in Washington state zone 7.
    As with all who have commented the weather has been up & down. I am getting tired of not being able to get to puttering in the veggie garden & my flower garden, So I have been to the library selecting gardening book to keep me busy & also give me new ideas for my garden projects. We had little snow then a bit more each time it thawed I would go out and collect the thawed snow or any rain water & bring it in to my indoor houseplants to enjoy. Last week it was 50 degree weather but lots of wind still the sun was out so it made it nice. My flower garden has some green out so it gives me hope that spring will be next. I went to the hardware store they had seed packets so I bought some. is it too early for snow peas?
    Yesterday Sunday we had what looked like snow but it was ice and this morning it is slick but now at 10am it is starting to melt and the weatherman says we will be back to 50-60 degrees this week. Hopefully we do not have a drought yr.
    I really love your wonderful pictures of your gardens & home.
    Thank You Kevin for the cheerfulness you give.
    I hope that one day you will turn your extra rooms into a B&B so people can come visit your gardens in person. In the mean time I look forward to your next post.


  54. Robbie Lou says:

    The last I heard, we were on day 49 with below zero temps here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Much colder than we have experienced in many a year. In spite of the cold, we have had a lot of sunny days in recent weeks:) The sunshine, the hardy ice fishers with their colorful vehicles and shanties out on the Bay in front of our home, and of course, winter sowing, have provided enough delight to help me through this record breaking season. So glad that I discovered you on Pinterest! You have inspired me to roll up my sleeves and try my hand at winter sowing. So enjoy your newsletters and your uplifting ways. Thanks Kevin!

  55. Janet G. Metzger says:

    Tulips are fading! A couple of trees with white blossoms in bloom. The garlic is sprouting.

    it was 77 on Saturday . We had sleet last night. It was 15 this morning. 🙂


  56. Marilyn says:

    Yes, we have daffodils blooming here in north central Texas. And my hyacinth is full of delicate yellow blossoms. But we are also emerging from 12 degree temperatures and sleet and snow which fell yesterday, making streets, sidewalks hazardous. And our just budding shrubs may be doomed. So it’s not exactly rosy here. But we don’t have three feet of snow in our yards, as your photos indicate you do, for which we are grateful.

    January has been about six months long, so far. But Spring will come…..eventually.

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