Fluctuating and Frustrating Spring Weather

cold spring temperature

Spring may have sprung, but nice weather certainly doesn’t stick around here everyday. In Chicago and around the Great Lakes area, we have had many swings of beautiful weather to rainy and cold fall-like days. Two days ago, our low was 30 degrees.

It was going to freeze.

Homes all over the area have annuals and gardens planted. If they remained uncovered, they would die.

Fortunately, I only have vegetable and annual seeds planted in containers. They could be easily covered or moved. I don’t think I have ever waited so long to plant my annuals in the ground. However, with the way the weather has fluctuated so much this spring, I couldn’t invest my money and time in annuals. At least not yet.

frost protection garden

Us northerners are always so excited to flock to the garden centers and put our “summer touches” in our landscaping. Being in Zone 5, the earliest date some plant is mid May. Cautious gardeners like myself, usually wait until Memorial Day, depending on the weather trend. Waiting so long just shortens our already short growing season.

Many springs in Chicago seem to never really occur. We bounce around from warmer winter days in most of March (30-40 degrees) and parts of April, with nice weather occasionally. Then there’s always the occasional “summer” day or two when everyone is out in shorts and it’s 75 degrees.

Spring is also our rainy season. It rains and rains all spring and come late August, our lawns are scorched from lack of it. Some years seem to go from summer to winter then back to summer again. Our transition seasons are short. On a warm April day, I’ll be inspired to swap out my winter wardrobe with my summer one, but then spend the next four to six weeks still pulling from the winter side of my closet. I know I sound like I’m complaining, but it would just be nice to have weather that follows a consistent pattern. However, global warming is changing all that; and for people who deny it, the scientific data all around proves it.

This is just another reason why I get so frustrated living in the midwest. As much as I don’t like admitting it, weather plays a big part in our lives: it changes plans; it dampens moods; and in some cases, it just makes us wait. Our summers are so short to begin with. Chicagoans will put time and money into patios, gardens, decks, and outdoor living spaces, to only get a few short months to use them.

I’m not sure if there really is any perfect environment to live in. Many warmer climates have hurricanes, excessive heat, or earthquakes. Once our youngest daughter finishes high school, I’m sure I’ll finally be ready to escape the midwest and find that perfect place…someplace likely in middle to northern California, with consistent mild and warm weather. It’s close to everything – the ocean, the mountains, the desert, and most importantly, wine country!   I can’t wait. 😀

Happy Travels!


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