WEIRD weather



We’ve broken all the records in Buffalo (it got up to 90 in some areas of WNY yesterday) and I wonder if others are experiencing some of the dryest, hottest days in April they’ve ever known.

It’s difficult to rant about such a thing—aside from the pleasure of being outside, I’m a month ahead on most gardening tasks—but it is disturbing.

The scene above depicts one of the few times I have ever seen daffodils standing upright in my front yard. Normally, these would be bending low with broken stalks or just laying face down in the mud, having succumbed to freezing rain or whatever. So this is the way they’re supposed to look—interesting.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Yes, we are experiencing very similar weather not being very far away, just on the other side of the lake near Watertown, NY. I’m also having mixed feelings. It is wonderful to be outside and getting so much done so early, but I am nervous about why we are having such strange weather. Where are our April snow showers? And I have never ever had to water my gardens in April. Just very freaky.

  2. The weather is freaky in WA state, too. We had five inches of snow yesterday and the temperature is way below normal. 8 days ago, our only warm spring day was 83 and set a record high.

  3. Patti in NNY, I know where your April snow showers are! They’re here! It doesn’t snow in the Willamette Valley region very often – rain, yes, snow, not so much – and snow in April is just not normal. It wasn’t much and it didn’t stick but it was still a strange sight for us. Other areas received more snow than we did, even at low elevations, and the mountains received inches of the white stuff. Spring skiing hasn’t been so good in years.

    We’re having unseasonably cold weather, about 15 deg colder than average with low temps near freezing. The orchardists are worried. They are watching over their cherry, apple, pear and other fruit blossoms, hoping this cold doesn’t wipe out this year’s crop. Not good!

  4. I hope that you don’t go through the drought that we went through last year here in SW IN. Our drought started this way. This year we are needing pool toys for the backyard. We don’t have a pool. You just never know about Mother Nature.

  5. Just a bit further north and over the border we have the same unseasonably cold weather as Washington state. A light snowfall on Friday night, bitterly cold winds and nights well below freezing with no let-up forcast until early May. And a box of plants arrived in the mail last week – what to do with them. Aaaarrgghh

  6. Weird weather? I’ll say! Last week it was shirtsleeve weather here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and I started planting the veggie garden. This week it SNOWED! Snow on my tulips is just… wrong.

    News flash to Mother Nature: It’s not February any more.

  7. Here up at latitude 53 (Edmonton, Alta.) we have snow that started Saturday and is still going. I shovelled the walks twice yesterday and driving to work was an adventure. No temps above 0 C as far as the forecast goes. Sigh. Last weekend – 25 degrees C and we were all giddy with spring. Now we’re back to snowgear. I hope my daffodils (up but not quite blooming yet) are snug under their white blanket 🙁

  8. Here in southwestern Oregon we’ve had an unusually cool spring. Snow on both Saturday and Sunday. No accumulation on the valley floor but snow none the less. Our oak trees are at least a week behind. So far no serious casulties but the early Magnolias did take a beating.

  9. We were up visiting my parents over the weekend in Niagara Falls and I got to witness daffodils going from tight buds to full flower within one day. The ice coming down the river went from big blocks to nothing in three days. Lovely and scary altogether. We’re living in DC and all but our latest daffodils are gone already.

    On a related note, the weather had my parents and all of their neighbors talking about lawns. Do you know of any companies in WNY that do river-friendly lawn maintenance? Removing the lawn altogether isn’t an option for them right now. My parents are trying to avoid the standard chemicals and they are right on the water.

  10. Susan, I don’t know about river-friendly, but there are plenty of landscapers here who will do chemical-free. Your parents should be specific when they call.

  11. Here north east Indiana we have been
    having some unusually warm and dry
    all frinking summer. Plentlfull sun
    shine and very little. Last year was
    bad. But this year has to be the

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