Kelowna’s first sign of spring has sprung

This month was 6.5 C colder than normal.

Kelowna’s first sign of spring has sprung

If there’s one thing that Kelowna residents can rely upon to usher in spring it’s the Greenery.

Since it opened in 1981, the Dilworth Mountain area nursery has been opening on the first Thursday in March and offering all that’s needed to get local gardens growing.

This year they opted to open Friday, March 1 and Kirsten Segler, who manages the Greenery, said that snow or shine, they are ready to greet customers.

“We don’t look at the weather,” he said. “We open our doors whether it’s cold and wintry or ready to plant in the ground.”

It doesn’t make much difference to them, considering they’re growing in a greenhouse.

“We don’t have nursery stock outside,” said Segler. “Our heating bill will be higher than normal this year (with the cold snap) but we are on schedule with our crops.”

Customers are the X-factor, but Segler said that he’s pretty sure there will be some people in this morning despite the icy temperatures.

“It will be busier than people will think,” he said. “The indoor outdoor succulent trend is huge and people want to come in and look at new variety. We have herbs and primulas and that’s our regular routine.”

The season at the Greenery is short. By June they’re all done.

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Before all that, though, there’s more winter.

Matt MacDonald, meteorologist for Environment Canada, said that the average temperature this month has been -7.4 C and the normal average temperature is -0.9 C. That means this month was 6.5 C colder than normal.

The coldest February on record was February 1975, when the average temperature hovered around -7.8 C.

“We are still stuck in it for a couple of weeks,” said MacDonald.

“People ask if March is coming in like a lion or a lamb, and I would say it’s coming in like a shivering lamb.”

The last couple of days haven’t been the chilliest, but a resurgence of really cold weather is just around the corner. This weekend temperatures are expected to drop to lows of -12 C and highs of 0 C or -1 C.

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“It will be 5 C below normal this weekend and we see a slight moderation in the middle of next week,” he said. “We are stuck in this cool-ish spell until March 10 or 11, and then temperatures will be above seasonal for the first time since late January.

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