T.S. Eliot sure got that right. April is supposed to be full of mild showers to coax out May flowers.


Instead, March lured buds out early, with unseasonably warm temperatures. Then April kicked our sunny spring optimism in the teeth, with two nights in a row of below-freezing temperatures last week.

Apple and grape growers are seriously worried about the damage already done to tender buds. Those of us who don't depend on our plants for our livelihood have less at stake, but we're still concerned about what this year's weird weather is doing to our peonies, lilacs and other spring-blooming plants.

It's supposed to dip below freezing in many parts of the state again tonight. If you have plants you can move, it's a good night to put them in the garage for protection. If they're in the ground, it's probably worth throwing a sheet over them. It doesn't add much protection, but every little bit helps.

If your peonies are up and budding, peony grower Harvey Buchite of Hidden Springs Flower Farm (www.hiddenspringsflowerfarm.com) recommends putting a cardboard box over them and weighting it with a rock, to create an envelope of warmer air around tender plants.

What are you worried about in your landscape? Have you had any damage? Are  you doing anything to prevent it?