There’s Something Happening Here…

In reading my latest mystery book, I came across a word that caught my eye: “vagaries”. I had a vague notion of its meaning, but went on-line to be sure. According to Merriam-Webster, it means “an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.” What a perfect word to describe this winter weather we’ve been having. My poor rose bush has sent out shoots of green, only to have them turn to black from the cold. The spring bulb garden has sprung, with one lonely flower already wilted and spent. The Helleborus Orientalis (Lenten Roses) in my side garden haven’t bloomed at all, most likely wondering if winter will ever arrive for good. Snow blowing sideways on Sunday, and tomorrow the high will be 57. The vagaries of weather indeed!

Last week, the USDA set forth the revised planting zones for the United States. These are the 13 zones that help gardeners decide what plants should survive in their yards. The previous 1990 map (see picture below) used temperatures from the period 1974 to 1986 while the new map uses temperature from between 1976 to 2005. Ohio, which was split between zones 5 and 6, now is mostly in zone 6. The USDA is distancing itself between the changes to the map (where everything seems to be shifting northward) and global warming. Granted, the latest map uses temperature extremes and better weather information such as acknowledging cities are warmer than rural areas and large bodies of water can affect temperatures, making the data used in 1990 less sophisticated than what was used in 2012. Personally, I think it’s just another indication that our planet is changing. That’s why it’s so important to do whatever we can to reverse the trends.

So, what do you think about the revised USDA planting zones?

Until next time!


6 responses to “There’s Something Happening Here…

  1. Interesting and certainly relevant to the Arboretum. How will this gradual increase in average temperatures affect the trees being planted in the Arboretum? Are there “native” species that will suffer, or others that will thrive in warmer temperatures over the next 50 years? The Arboretum is a long-term project and certainly the climate of central Ohio will be significantly warmer by time the Arboretum is full grown. Are we taking this into account when planning and planting?

  2. !hey folks!
    we cpould use some immediate HELP to save our old trees in clintonville.
    cac met Feb 2, 7 pm.
    can we work together to stop the senseless cuting old our old trees.
    see Breevort Park! there is a new city forester. Jack Lowe retired.

  3. Hi Beth, I don’t know all the details about the Breevort Park project, but I do know that the Department of Recs and Parks has a plan for it. You might want to phone the department to get those details. If you don’t get any answers or don’t like the answers you are hearing, you might want to phone Director Alan McKnight or city councilmember Klein who oversees the Recs and Parks committee. You can obtain these phone numbers by dialing 311.

  4. I think it’s great that the USDA is distancing themselves from “global warming.” I think “climate change” is certainly among us, but in the grand scheme of things the world will always be changing. Sometimes it will be tranding warmer and other times it will be trending cooler.

    There is a nice entry on Wikipedia about the current ice age at .

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we don’t need to concern ourselves with artifically and prematurely heating the plant but I think it’s short term thinking.

    What do you think?

  5. Hi again!
    see the Booster this week!
    yes the city has a plan to cut our OVER mature trees!
    how short sighted or so mny reasons!!
    PLEASE attend the CAC meeting FEB 2nd at 7 pm, to hear more and help save our big old trees in Clintonville!!!

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