We've had a cold winter in Central Texas this year, with several hard freezes and five (five!) school/city "inclement weather" days. 1/500ths of an inch of ice shut down the Austin metro area, after hundreds of fender-benders and multi-car pile-ups.
We've had plenty of chill hours for stone fruit, but frost-sensitive tropicals and citrus haven't fared well.
My Tahitian lime and Meyer lemon lived in a pop-up greenhouse all winter, heated with a space heater.
In the veggie garden, root vegetables have been slow to come in, and snap peas had few blooms and fewer peas.
Sub-freezing temps alternating with warm sunny days required frequent covering and uncovering of raised beds with frost cloth.
Stars of my winter garden are always the same: lettuce, arugula and broccoli, which have already started to bolt.
Maybe one day I'll think to plant only the stars and forget the rest.
My native and adapted landscape's late winter look is frumpy and oh so very wan.
I'm only showing you these wide shots because you're my friend.
Clearly, it's time for the big pruning job - the Big Whack-Back.
Then, the weeding - Oh, the weeding! - made more challenging by the larkspur and poppy seedlings.
Is it too late to make a New Year's resolution? More hardscape, more evergreens.
Maintaining native perennial landscapes can be back-breaking! The Big Whack-Back took two weekends.
I found one tiny bloomer underneath the brown sticks and leaves: this four-nerve daisy.
It'll all be worth it in May. Oh, and Owly is back. Spring is just around the corner, y'all!
Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her February GBBD page and tell the world what's blooming in your winter garden.
Words and photos © 2009-2014 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.