Friday, January 15, 2010

Bloom Day - January 15, 2010

Well, it just warmed up after a record cold freeze here in Austin. The only thing I have blooming in the yard are the Paperwhites and they look a bit frazzled from the deep-freeze:

I do, however, have several things blooming that are in pots that I moved into the garage during the freeze, but are now back outside.

Meyer lemon blossoms:


Red Geranium:

Pink Geranium:

Red Cyclamen:

Dragon-Wing Begonia:

And an Amaryllis:

Happy Bloom-Day everyone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Aftermath

The weather has finally warmed back up here in Central Texas after record breaking cold and freezing temps that spanned a couple days. I covered my plants I felt were most at risk, hoping to save them from imminent death.

The results:

The Aloe Vera - Alive! I wrapped this one up tight and it survived, it just looks awfully raggedy:

The philodendrons in the entryway - 1 Alive, the other on life support,but alive:

I cut all the mushy parts off; and the one nearest the doorway, that was mostly sheltered by the brick walls, will recover:

The other one was at the outside edge of the entryway and got the brunt of the cold. I thought it was dead, but if you look very, very closely, you will see a green spike poking up from the rootball. I am crossing my fingers it comes back:

The Potted Palm: Verdict not in. It is looking not so good for the potted palm. It was wrapped up tight, but since it was in a pot, I think it still got too cold for it. I will have to wait and see if it recovers or gives up the ghost. Notice the brownish-green color of the fronds. Eeewww:

The Sagos: Alive!! I *almost* didn't cover these as they are right up against the south side of the house. I am sure glad I covered them now! If I hadn't I think they would have lost all of their fronds. I used an old car cover to cover them up. It was just big enough to cover them all:

You can see where the cold got to them on their edges, but they pulled through:

The yellow-stripey Agave (I don't know what kind it was as a neighbor gave it to me. It came from Florida): Deader than a Doornail. This one is toast. Even the pointy center part is mush. I even wrapped this baby up tight. Didn't help. Hopefully it will send up some pups from the roots in the spring:

My my lemon tree also made it through unscathed, but only because I put it in the garage! Sure glad I did! I imagine it would have been dead, otherwise.

I hope some of my other plants survived, like my pomegranates and flowering senna. I won't know for sure until spring arrives.

So, 2 years of the most extreme drought followed by a record breaking freeze. It's a miracle I still have a garden to speak of. I'm about ready to pee my pants in anticipation of what Spring has in store. Probably a record flood of some sort and some tornadoes and giant hail. It is an El-Nino year after all.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Teens

So it has been in the teens the past couple of nights and my Paperwhites that did so well in the twenties, don't so much like the teens. They are looking awfully mushy:

And I have been filling the resevoir for the jar fountain with warm water (not too hot, I don't want the jar breaking)in the evening to try and avoid the complete ice-over it got the other evening. It seems to be working:

The Lion Fountain gets warm water in its basin, too. And my poor philodendrons. They have never looked so bad! It appears that the hello-kitty sheets just were not enough to keep them warm. Hopefully they will come back from the root-ball once it warms up (fingers crossed):

At least the birds are keeping warm by filling up on suet:


Yellow Warbler of some sort:

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Twenties

It is really cold here in Central Texas today! It is only in the 20's outside. I don't know for sure how cold it was last night, but it was damn near the teens if I were to hazard a guess. I wrapped up all my plants so they would be snugly warm and brought the meyer lemon and all my hanging pots into the garage. My Jar fountain froze nearly solid. I had to chip a hole through the top with a hammer and chisel. I have never had a problem with it freezing solid like that before. Luckily the water inside the jar wasn't frozen, so it was still running, just under the several-inch thick ice cap on the fountain. I also made sure to fill the bird bath bowl with new warm water after dumping out the block of ice that I found in it this morning.

Not all is frozen in the garden, however. The Paperwhites shrug off the cold and freezing winds and continue to bloom:

The possumhaw berries are looking quite splendid with silver ponyfoot beneath. I will note that this ponyfoot here is on the east side of the house by the brick wall where it doesn't freeze down. The ponyfoot I have in the back on the North side has all frozen back except for the bit directly snuggled up to the wall of the house:

And I have a new bird visiting my garden this week; a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. He's pretty little thing:

He has a pretty red tuft on his head that he can raise up when excited, hence the name 'Ruby-crowned':