Happy Candlemas Day

Happy Candlemas Day — or Groundhog Day, if you prefer.  I ran across this old weather proverb in Adam Nicolson’s book Quarrel With the King (HarperCollins, 2008) :


If Candlemas Day be fair and bright

Winter will have another flight


But if it be dark with clouds of rain

Winter is gone and will not come again.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, the day is dawning lovely and clear — oh dear.  I’d hate to think we’d get more of the weather we had in December (which actually started before winter).

In England today, the weather is dreadful.  Although it’s not much consolation, at least they could look forward to better weather the second half of winter if the Candlemas/Groundhog prediction holds.

British garden writer Mary Keen just e-mailed me over the weekend that their cold weather is already delaying garden events, and that snowdrops are just now appearing (mine are up several inches).

Gunnera at Wisley            Let’s hope winter doesn’t hit again when we least expect it.  On a May England garden tour, we took our small group to RHS Garden Wisley, always a fabulous visit for the display gardens, range of plants and, of course, lovely lunches.  Here it was the middle of May and the Gunnera had been bitten by a late frost.  It always shocks unfamiliar eyes that such a huge plant could be an herbaceous perennial.  The stand was already about 5 feet high, and many of the leaves with big brown spots.



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