Horticulturists tend to get kind of obsessed with the weather. No rain, too much rain, heavy snow, high winds, extreme cold, prolonged high humidity–all of these conditions and more can cause us anxiety as we worry about the potential negative effects to our plants, whether in our gardens, the local forest, or here at the Arnold Arboretum. For the second year in a row we’ve had an extremely dry September; the Arboretum’s ponds were way down (Faxon Pond was completely dry), leaves were getting crispy, and the horticulture crew was working overtime to irrigate in our more drought-vulnerable collections. And now, very suddenly, we’ve received several inches of rain, with more on the way. Of course, there’s a long history of worrying (and writing) about the weather at the Arboretum. Whether from 100 years ago [pdf] or 20 years ago [pdf], we just can’t help talking about the weather.
Nancy Rose, horticulturist and editor of Arnoldia