Like a switch the weather changes

It has been a gloriously beautiful November, the sun was shining, the air was warm and projects were continuing to get done. The forecast even was looking like we just might make it to December with workable sites,  yes in Minnesota! This was the latest frost setting a record with Nov 18, and with things looking nice I was duped into a false sense of security- that maybe we would get more done. Until today…freezing rain is just one of the clues we are now done. 

If you apply the logic that the season usually winds down and there is a more gradual change even once we get the first frost there could have been a few more good working days are yet to be had.  I was really just being too optimistic.  Growing up in MN as a landscape designer I should know better, wait 5 minutes and the weather can change. I coach my clients in that to manage expectations, and all jobs are weather/conditions dependent. But my optimism was not to be. The weather changed fast. We are only a few day past the first frost and into something more typical of November where there is frost in the ground, there is snow sticking places with more on the way.

Our season has now come to a halt. I had a recent contractor ask me, ” Do you really just pack it up when the weather changes?” Yes we do. Sure, I’d like to keep going, but to do our best work, the work that will be stable for years to come, we need the ground and materials to cooperate with us.  When everything is cold,  it’s hard to do that: the soil won’t pack, the sand won’t spread evenly, glues and bonding agents don’t set properly.   I have had my share of projects that float into winter, but they are prepared in advance for the weather change and involve building above ground such as decks and pergolas as they can handle that, although the crews still freeze.

Most people understand the limitations of the season, and so now there are just a few consults to do, and a bunch of winter plans for the off season for the design aspect of all we do. But first we will  spend more time with family for the holidays and then can start preparing for the season to start again. 

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