Friday, December 4, 2009

Before the hard freeze

I spent most of the past two evenings covering up plants with floating row cover, even though it wasn't expected to freeze until tonight.

I got a bit of ribbing from Jack and the fireman about that. Maybe it's just me, but I hate covering up plants late at night in subfreezing temperatures with a flashlight. I prefer doing such tasks a night or two in advance, when temperatures are more moderate and the situation less urgent.

This morning, I went out to do one last "dummy check" before tonight's freeze, to batten down the hatches and make certain I covered everything that won't come back from the roots, and I couldn't help but notice how wonderful the Old Blush roses looked. Poor roses - they think it's spring.
Old Blush roses

I couldn't stand the thought of these blooms all freezing to death, so I brought a bunch of them inside. I cut some Bright Lights cosmos, and brought them in, too.
Bright Lights cosmos & Old Blush roses

Old Blush isn't considered a traditional 'cutting rose' like a hybrid tea might be. Nevertheless, I think these blossoms are almost as pretty as peonies.
'Old Blush' roses

One last Chrysler Imperial bud, spared from Jack Frost's wrath.
Chrysler Imperial rose

As for the perennials in the front yard, I covered the purple fountain grass, because it's particularly sensitive to cold, but I just don't have enough row cover or sheets to cover EVERYTHING. Too bad, because the salvias, daisies and milkweed are going gangbusters. They'll all be sad and limp in the morning. I know they'll be back in the spring, but it's a particular pity, considering how nice and sunny it's supposed to be tomorrow. Alas. Such is life. Maybe it won't get as cold as predicted, or for as long. We'll see.


  1. I think it's harder on us Austinites to deal with a hard freeze because this isn't the beginning of winter for us. Our freezes are few and the lovely days between them many. Last year, for example, we had nine days in the 80s between our first freeze and our last freeze. Ever since it started raining a couple of months ago all the plants have gone bonkers with "spring" fever. My garden was looking better than it had during most of the last two years of drought.

    As you say, we can't cover everything.

  2. Caroline you were much more prepared than I was for the cold weather! Your arrangements are were so smart to do that. I didn't even think about bringing the blooms inside and I wish I had.

  3. Your roses are beautiful. I don't have enough deer proofed area here with enough sun to have roses. I'll have to enjoy everyone else's.
    I didn't get everything covered, and the esperanzas I covered got uncovered by my little garden helper, her last time out before bed. I didn't find it until AFTER the freeze. Not sure they'll make it.
    Ah...the life of Texas gardeners....