Doreen Morash, president of the Kelowna Garden Club, holds a tray full of primula flowers outside her home. Morash said the plants will make a nice display for the front of her house by the end of March or earlier.
But even with a balmy long-range weather forecast for Kelowna, the president of the city's gardening club isn't reaching for her spade just yet.
Primulas and pansies, now widely-available at local garden centres and supermarkets, are supposed to be hardy to minus 4 C. Overnight lows for the next two weeks are not forecast to fall below that, according to The Weather Network, and many nights it won't drop much below freezing.
Still, Morash counsels caution for those eager to add some colour to their yards and window boxes after a long spell of cold temperatures.
"I know people want to get going with some of the hardy
flowers, but it's still a little too chilly for me," Morash said Wednesday. "I'll babysit them in the house for another week or two, because I just don't want to have to bring the flowers in every night."
Still, it's a sure sign of the imminent gardening season that the executive members of the 210-member club had their first meeting of the year on Monday after the regular winter hiatus.
And a busload of members just returned from their annual February trip to the Northwest Flower Garden Show in Seattle.
After a snowy and near-record cold start to the month, conditions will improve significantly over the rest of February. Wednesday's high in Kelowna of 10 C eclipsed the record warm temperature for Feb. 12 of 7 C, set in 2010.
Daytime highs for the next two weeks should average about 5 C, with precipitation more likely to come in the form of rain than snow. So far this month, there have been four centimetres of snow; a normal February sees eight centimetres of snow.
"We're moving into a very mild, springlike weather pattern for the valley bottom, though there should still be lots of snow at higher elevations," said Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist.