After last week's almost record snowfall, I was stuck by how lovely the snow was on our farm, and how easy it was to manage - and how ugly it was in town.
The big reason? In a word: salt. Here, we simply used the snowblower to clear the lane and now we have nice crunchy, hard-packed snow, which is easy to walk on and not the least bit slippery.
But in town, the post-snowstorm scene was quite different: the parking lots at the grocery store and drug store were filled with nasty, dirty slush because of all the road salt that was spread, supposedly for safety reasons.
Not only does the salt wreck your boots and eat away at cars, ruin plants and pollute waterways and poison wildlife, but I find that the slush it creates actually makes pavement more slippery to walk on. So much for safety!
No wonder most Canadians hate winter. I did too until I discovered that when you live in the country, winter is beautiful, and stays beautiful, even after a snowstorm. It's also way easier to clear snow (esp. with a tractor) because there's lots of space to put it, and you avoid salty, dirty, slippery slush.
Another benefit of country living: Because there's no need to look at all fashionable, you can wear boots, a coat, tuque, mittens, flannel-lined jeans and outdoor protective pants, and go outside and stay toasty warm.
And the biggest reason for country gardeners to love winter? You get a rest from weeding and mowing, and there are no deerflies.
I'm a keen gardener and garden writer and photographer, living on a country property of 10 acres near Hamilton, Ont.
I love ornamental grasses and easy-care, contemporary garden styles. In my garden I try to work with nature, instead of fighting it.
To email me, just change "at" to the usual: country.gardening[at]gmail[dot]com