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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Cold Shoulder

 
 
I suppose that with several nights dipping down into the low 20's, the fantasy of fall gently flowing on until spring this year must be abandoned.  Father time finally let little jack frost outside to play.
 
 

The frost is kind of pretty and it's sure nice to see the sun again.  (O.K. I'm clinging to anything even closely resembling enjoyment of the cold.)



How beautiful to have the sun illuminate Jack's intricate stitchery of frost on leaves.  (I'm not buying it either.)


For those of you in California, Arizona, etc. experiencing near-record cold temperatures, my thoughts are with you especially if you're trying to save your crops!

I hope you're keeping warm!




Heavy sigh.  I was hoping that the musa basjoos might just escape heavy frost this year but my delusion is clearly over!  This is the longest that they have remained green.  Oh well, it was a good run and if we don't get temperatures below 19 degrees F, their  pseudostems will maintain their height. 
Happy cold Monday all! 

24 comments:

  1. Hopefully you'll get to keep the pseudostems of your basjoos and not get cut back down to the ground, so come spring you have a good height of them already :) winter has definitely arrived here too! Frosts on plant look pretty but unfortunately not that kind to them. Less frosts would be nice!

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    1. I'm with you with the less frost idea. Maybe we could move to Mexico. Zihuatanejo, a lovely tropical town is in the mid 80's (F) today with lows in the 60's.

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  2. It's pretty, but I'm not buying it. Having spent years in New England and Mid-Atlantic cold I like our climate even with the hellish August.

    Now I see why the Bismarck palm would not be hardy there. Lows in the mid-20s occur here about once in five years and typically last only one day so the ground warms up between events.

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    1. There was a local guy who kept a Bismarck palm alive for a few years in a very sheltered location but it eventually died. I've considered growing one in a pot and bringing it inside for the winter but one of the plant's many charms is it's enormous size. Oh well, we can't have everything!

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  3. Frost is pretty! Sometimes it even makes dead leaves look good. OK, not that it did anything for your poor bananas. It hit 24 this morning up here on the plateau. I love how the frost makes black mondo grass turn gray. The poor hummers, I brought the frozen feeder in to thaw, and then forgot to put it out again.

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    1. Bad humming bird mom! Of course, this is the pot calling the kettle black as I forgot to bring mine in to thaw. The frost was pretty and all but now I'm ready for it all to go away.

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  4. I've been seeing lots of frost photos around the blogosphere these last few days, none prettier than yours. What I hate most about the cold mornings (besides the damage to my plants) is the look of plants like my Schefflera, Fatsia, Euphorbia and the poor Echium. Their leaves all pointing straight down to the ground look so sad. I want to go outside and give them a big hug.

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    1. Thanks Loree, you are too kind. It's hard to look at the Scheffleras & friends when it gets this cold. They look like they'll die for sure but they almost always make it through. I've heard of tree huggers before but an Echium embracer is new to me. Always nice to learn something new!

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  5. And here I am praying for the cold to return! We've had close to a week of mid fifties to low sixties with rain and fog. I love the patterns that Jack leaves on everything, even if it does make them droop their heads. I like knowing that the kids aren't having to deal with the ever increasing likelihood of freeze/thaw which can be especially devastating!

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    1. Although the patterns are lovely, I dream of someday being able to say "I don't know Jack." and having it refer to frost rather than my intellect. I'll happily send our cold to you in exchange for your fifties!

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  6. It's in the mid 50s F here today-about 20 degrees above average. No matter where you live, when weather deviates too far from the average the garden can sometimes take a hit but "average" seems to be a moving target these days don't you think?

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    1. You are so right about "average" being a moving target. This weather is still within our range of normal for this time of the year though so our plants should be just fine. A big thaw in the middle of winter followed by freezing again could be pretty sad for your garden. Hopefully you have enough snow on the ground to insulate things!

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  7. I hate it when the weather gets too cold, the plants really show how their suffering.

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    1. Most of our plants can handle this cold just fine as temperatures are still within the range of normal for this time of the year. I'm ready for spring though!

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  8. Beautiful frosty pictures. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of Jack

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    1. Thanks Satu! Jack only visits us here for a little while whereas he seems to live with you for months on end.

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  9. I was oohing and aahing over every photo right up til the last: that one was sad, and knocked the Pollyanna right out of me.

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    1. O Ricki, say it's not so! No more Pollyanna?! When I first read your comment, I thought you wrote, "knocked the Polyanthus right out of me." Where'd those glasses go?

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  10. As of this morning I had two out of five echiums left alive. We're in the middle of our second big cold spell of the Winter here.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your echiums. I'll cross my fingers that the two make it through the rest of the winter!

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  11. It has indeed been chilly! On the weekend I dipped down to 21.7F! It was rather tragic. I don't think anything really suffered, but I bet the tree ferns will slowly decline until new fiddle heads emerge in the springtime. It was certainly beautiful to get all that sunshine we've had. Before long we will be able to enjoy sun and warmer temperatures! Too bad about your bananas. It was certainly an amazing stretch!

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    1. I knew that the bananas couldn't last all year; it was just a silly dream. Sorry to hear about the tree ferns as it must be hard to see them decline slowly like that. On the up side, this cold snap should help control the pest population a little.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.