Gardening: When will we be back on track for spring?

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

I’ve spent the past few weeks making shopping lists of plants I want to buy for my display garden at the OPC in Rochester. Preparing a garden for a garden walk is a scary prospect when April showers are dominated by ice and snow. But sitting around moaning about the unseasonably cold weather will only put me further behind. So I moan on the move.

I do check the weather and 10-day forecasts daily, but of course that effort won’t help. As the old saying goes, “a watched pot never boils.”

While looking on line for weather information I found the following website that gave me all kinds of information regarding the weather in my area — past, present and future: Navigating this site is easy — just look under the weather tab, and enter your ZIP code to see what’s up in your backyard.

According to Time and Date, the average temperatures in Rochester in April are 58 degrees for the high and 39 degrees for the low, and we are about a month behind these averages.

The 15-day future forecast, as of April 16, indicates Rochester will be back on track warmth wise, starting Monday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For a more in-depth study of what’s happening in your area and around the world, you might want to check out Meteoblue ( You will need to be able to read graphs and charts, however.

Interesting fact, Dubai is the hottest city on Earth — and along with the heat comes high humidity. I took it off my bucket list.

When my friend Ella and I walked the garden this week, we found hellebores in bloom, fox gloves emerging and larkspur sprouting. Sadly we also found our fabulous display of hens and chicks, planted last fall, has been trashed and chewed by deer. Not only did they eat the succulent centers out of the larger plants, they dug up entire plantings and tossed the little guys about. The rain, snow and ice have kept their exposed roots wet, so these tough little guys nicknamed “live forever” will hopefully recover.

Lesson learned: There is little for the foraging deer to eat right now, so plants that are considered “deer resistant “ are vulnerable. As soon as we get a 24-hour dry spell, I will spray our garden with Plantskydd deer repellant and sprinkle the granular form around the hens and chicks after we replant them.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.