With the first full day of winter, temperatures have been mild so far as we head into the depth of winter.

At the nursery, our annual late fall weed killing has been finished to combat the invasive garlic mustard weed, sow thistles by the hundreds and the ever present hairy bittercress. Of note is the decline of the garlic mustard and the Glypsophate resistant Marestail weed that has plagued farmers beginning in 2006. The above two species of weeds have been under constant attack at the nursery since 2011 and not only in late fall but in spring and summer as well with the results now showing of their decline.

A sudden burst of orders for grave blankets has made it necessary for us to go back to work to cut and collect spruce branches as we begin the countdown to Christmas only a few days away. No doubt the winter will be somewhat colder than now as the earth continues to lose heat from the vacancy of the sun to shine over the Tropic of Capricorn instead of the Tropic of Cancer as it does on the summer solstice. A climatologist on a recent radio report did state that Ohio has approximately three weeks of warmer weather than it does now than in the last thirty or so plus years. As always the short variations in weather patterns because of the track of the jet stream, winter-like weather could still hold on well into April as it did last year or in the extreme case of February 2015 in which became the coldest February on record since Cleveland began recording such events in 1875. So far it doesn’t look like a white Christmas but this celebration of the birth of Jesus is one that gives us time to reflect on one of the greatest commandments: “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself”.

Merry Christmas everyone!