Like pancake make-up or a fresh coat of paint, snow covers a myriad of messes. The perennials I left to cut back in spring didn't look bad in October, but by late February they started to look more than a little haggard. As of today, I'm declaring the six or so inches that blanketed northwest Indiana ten days ago the last snow.
The last snow made creamy cones on top of the Tiki torches left out from our New Year's Festivus. It made long-empty seed pods look like dangling ornaments on the skeleton of an aster, put a new roof on our dilapidated shed, and made my view so peaceful I could feel the muscles loosening up around my neck.
The last snow is the one we'll think about when it's too hot to go outside to deadhead. It's the one that we'll turn the clock back to when we realize it's gardening season and we have so much to do. And as it melts, the last snow, combined with lengthening daylight, will be the first in a series of gentle nudges to let the plants know it's time to wake up.