Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Friggin' Cold Down Here!

Well, there you have it. About the only thing that's standing up to the cold in my yard. I'll never skip planting ornamental cabbage and kale after this year. I'm pretending they are giant purple, white and yellow flowers...that the bunnies like to eat. Bunnies, that's right...a trip to Callahan's to get a new apron, and I come home with bunnies. My friend Don told loving spouse and I after we rescued our 4th cat years ago..."why not just have a baby and stop collecting pets?" Phooey. Babbie's grow up, talk back, make messes, then leave after you've spent decades picking up after them and driving them here and there and oh the mouth! Not bunnies, or chickens, or kittens, or dogs. Thank you very much, I'm not crazy...I'm a wanna be urban farm girl.

Ornamental cabbage and kale

I got off my duff yesterday and finished a posting I'd started mid-December and took a few hours to check out some other blogs for the first time since before the hustle of the holiday began. This is such an odd year. Last year I refused to take a vacation for fear that my poor garden would die from lack of water and care and now Mother Nature seems to be punishing me for not trusting in her design. Slash, there goes my precious propagation garden...and all the lovely zone 9 plants I'd come to believe in, good bye my pretties...please, please, please come back in the spring.

The ice snake my hose vomited when I turned it on this morning.

I had a chat with Randy (Horselips Horsesense) yesterday and he said he was mulching like mad. He is mad. If it's going to be in the teens by Thursday I'm just calling it quits. When the sun comes out you can find me in the garden, until then, I have a stack of books, some yogi~tea and my heating pad cooing my name, and I aim to listen.

So much for my scented geranium, part of my companion planting project in the rose garden.

I stepped outside this morning to survey the damage...lots of stuff that I would have thought would make it, suffering so. Projects that held total fascination just a few months ago gone. Here it is January and I still have black spot? There's no heat and humidity? Stop it, stop it now!

The comforting thing about gardening to me is the beautiful simplicity, the ageless predictability about it all. If I have a crap day, I know that no matter what, something in my garden will look up at me through it's colorful eyes and thank me for loving it, being there, and I won't be judged for what I have to say. At least in Alaska Mother Nature had the decency to shield me from the destruction with her white cloak. Not here. Crunch, slime, squish...stepping through my yard hunting for a bloom. Pam (Digging) said in her blog yesterday that she had blooms on her abutilon, she had photos to prove it. So I went trekking back to my Patricks Abutilon and a big fat nada...even crunchy forest green tips, ready to crackle and fall if I touched them.

Black spot on an unidentified rose on the West side of my house.

Fortunately, this is the only rose suffering. The rest look okay, but not thriving like Annie's at The Transplantable Rose. Whhhhhhyyyy Meeeee (insert Nancy Kerrigan whine here.)

Peruvian Lilly and Spiderwort
Check out this totally confused pair. Peruvian Lilly and Spiderwort got excited this Fall and decided to come up, thinking it was Spring. Now it's melting and covered with frost...after Thursday it'll be mush.

Most of the herbs are doing okay, save the Marjoram and Mexican Mint Marigold, which have been with me now for 3 years...toast. I'm hoping that the root ball hasn't given up, yet.

Giant Red Mustard and Arugula
Stand up! When I peeked out my kitchen window I saw all my greens fainting. Noooooo!
They are what keep me alive during the winter. I have to get out there and heap the remaining leaves on them after they get some sun this afternoon.
Culinary Sage
Frost on the sage? I may as well kiss this baby goodbye. If it frosts over in the 30's she won't make it through the week.
Well, that's the Debbie Downer report from Central Texas, Crestview neighborhood in Austin. I just had to rant after the glorious touting from my fellow bloggers. Good for you all and bah- humbug. Don't look for me on Bloomday, I'll be deep in a novel.
Happy Gardening!


Pam/Digging said...

I'm letting the chips fall where they will with the predicted freeze. I've covered and moved my tender potted plants, but the rest are on their own. No hauling of light strings or making burlap cages for me. I'll be inside where it's warm.

As for that pink abutilon, until very recently it had been under protective row covers at BSN. Now that it's in the ground at my house, it's already looking frost-bitten from last night's freeze. Sigh.

The spiderworts will pull through no matter what happens this week, have no fear. They're indestructible!

ConsciousGardener said...

I'll be inside with a hot-toddy Pam :)

catmint said...

Hi Cheryl, yep - there is a time for gardening and a time for reading novels. Enjoy the day even though some plants are dying and fainting. In my latest post I answered your question and referred to you and your blog. Cheers, catmint

ConsciousGardener said...

Catmint, I thought I left a comment? Perhaps it didn't take? I've got a screech owl and 3 solitary bee habitat's along with multiple birdhouses. I'd never heard of a possum home before! great post! Thanks for answering my question. Also, thanks for the book suggestion! I'll check that out, I'll be finishing last years pulitzer today "Olive Kitteridge" it was excellent! She's a tulip fan.

catmint said...

I've never heard of Olive Kitteridge, I will check it out. My possum home is still sadly empty. Happy new year.

katina said...

I've got a totally non-garden question--what's with the string of bottle caps in the peruvian lily picture?

I haven't decided what to do with all of my plants yet--as in I don't know if I'll use the bed sheet, or if I'll go with something thicker on the garden. Of course, now I'm getting worried about the flower plants. mostly the shrimp plant, passion vine, coral vine and the bulbines.

Sadly, my captcha for the day is kilized. I should add that to my lexicon.

ConsciousGardener said...

Bring in your potted plants, they WILL NOT make it. The bottle caps fell down from the tree...it's part of my yardart 'beer-garden.' You can find pics of the whole thing in the garden tour images from October.

Cindy McMorris Tournier said...

Cheryl, I'm pretty much doing the same as you and Pam. I just don't think it's worth the effort; so many plants were already hit hard by the great blizzard of aught-nine. I may cover a shelf of succulents and rearrange a few pots to protect them as much as possible.

We must think of the new planting possibilities that will be ours when we've cleared away the limp and sodden remains!

Lancashire rose said...

It isn't not often that the city gets such cold weather so I fear there will be many plants that don't make it through this cold snap. It is sad to see all your plants in such stress. Lucky that you have some leaves to mulch with. I am just thinking that it will be a good opportunity to have a good clear out, put in some soil conditioners and make a trip to the nursery. Which makes me wonder what they are doing at the nurseries. What a nightmare. Stay warm and enjoy your book. Can you imagine what I am feeling like sitting her, as I am, in Pasadena. Worried!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

This is seriously cold weather. It hasn't been this cold since I began gardening at this house. So I anticipate that I will be basically starting over again as if it were 1996. I lost so much to the drought that I was trying to start over anyway. This will be the final nail in the coffin of the old garden.

ConsciousGardener said...

Pasadena! You tart! Lucky ;) have fun tonight...go horns! We'll all be in the same bucket come spring...we'll just have to make a few batches of Margarita's and get it all out...start anew. It'll be fun!

Cat said...

We covered out mango when the temps dropped and were prepared to pull out a string of lights to help keep it warm, but it didn't drop that far here, we has some frost on our roof but that was about it.

Best wishes for the spring.

Anonymous said...

It was 10 degrees yesterday & 19 degrees this morning at 8:30 am at my house. Some of my covered potted plants seem okay. Others look to have gone to plant heaven, but I don't give up till spring when they fail to reappear from the root. Am worried about my fig tree and thyrallis.

I noted your purchase of some bunnies. Congratulations! If you want a list of some of the local weeds bunnies can eat, feel free to email me. Mine eat weeds everyday, and it benefits both the bunnies & my yard. 'Course maybe your chickens take on that duty. Laura @ redthistle1 at yahoo.com

Linda/Central Texas Gardener said...

Cheer up! That may not be black spot; just old leaves. Clip them off (don't strip). For sure, I'll plant kale & cabbage next year. I always plan to then never get around to it! The Mex. mint marigold should be fine. Maybe the marjoram too. My oregano looks fine. And yea on bunnies!! We love our twosome (and 4 cats & dogs). A happy day is a new plant and a new pet!

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ConsciousGardener said...

Cool script Jesse, wish I could respond!

Annie in Austin said...

Thanks for the link, Cheryl - roses are all gone now but the coral honeysuckle earned a song for the January GBBD.

Like you, I was very bummed to discover that when you have a low of 13°F the Bulbines bail, Marjoram gets brown and Mexican Mint marigold goes on the critical list.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Cat said...

Swing on by, I'm having a giveaway!

Austin Frugal Foodie said...

Somehow our outrageous marjoram survived just fine and the Mexican mint marigold only looks like it took a hard prunin'. I worry about the kaffir lime, though. Keeping my fingers crossed.

katina said...

Hey, I've given you one of the Sunshine Awards that's been making the rounds. You can read about it on my blog.

Cat said...

Hey there, how's it going?
Are you recovering yet?

ConsciousGardener said...

Thank you Katina and I got out in my yard yesterday for the first time in a long time Cat!