Thursday, December 15, 2005

All Dead, All Dead*

* "All Dead, All Dead" is the title of a strange little Brian May-penned Queen song from way back, for those who care...

Well, hopefully the garden isn't all dead. It certainly looks terrible, though, and I'm curious about what will rebound, come springtime, from our recent overnight freeze that apparently reached around 6°.

My biggest concern is for the two Red Sensation (or maybe Purple Tower) Cordylines. The one at the front of the house is now flat. The one in back, which gets the benefit of being next to the fence, is still upright, but looks burnt. I'm not sure why I was convinced these semi-tropicals would survive single-digit temps...

Most of the perennials look terrible. Why am I saddened and surprised at this? After all, it's their job to die every year. The freeze we had was just so...abrupt. I guess I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to my little friends for the season.

Everybody, altogether: "Awwwwwww...."

So, what still looks decent? Well, the columbines are absolutely pristine. So are the prickly pear cactus and the agaves. My lavender looks more beautiful than ever (the Goodwin Creek is actually blooming), and even the Spanish variety is perfect, though I thought they were fairly tender.

The irises looked bad for a day, but quickly rebounded. All of the stuff I protected with row covers -- the lettuce, and heucheras, lady's mantle and ferns in containers -- are just fine.

I am a little worried about the plants that I had just put out in Front Yard Garden Project. Obviously, they were probably in a bit of transplant shock to begin with, and then got smacked down with a freeze. Here's hoping they come back in the spring.

We are supposed to hit 22° early next week, so I guess I'll be dragging the frost cloth out again. Sheesh, what happened to our supposedly milder-than-usual winter?!? The days just before Christmas are supposed to be pretty decent, though, so I should just quit whining and appreciate the fact that I can get outside and work at all.


Kathy said...

Two mornings ago it was 14 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at 6 am. Not only are my perennials dormant, they are, thank goodness, under snow. You start seeds in January? I usually haven't even ordered them by then. But a freeze when your plants are not expecting it is bad no matter what your climate, so I guess I feel a little sympathy for your situation.

Tamara said...

Yup, we went from 80° to 6° in about four days. Horrible. You should see the trees around here - some still have lots of leaves, but they've been "flash frozen" into place, so they're not falling...weird.

I do start a lot of stuff in January. Our last frost date is 3/15, so I keep most of the plants under lights until around March 1, then start the hardening-off process.

kerry said...

Ouch. I hope you didn't lose too much. We have been down as low as about 9 or 10 but most of the things in the cold frame here are still alive. If you had any snow on the ground that will help insulate things. Also, being near buildings can offer some protection. Keep us posted.