Tuesday, March 4, 2014

An icy start to March

Last night, our budding spring gardens got slapped back in a "thundersleet" storm.
icy oak tree

To gardeners further north, digging out from heavy snowfalls, I imagine these photos don't look all that bad. But our southern gardens don't like hard freezes in March one bit, particularly after five icy freezes earlier this winter.
catkins under ice

Like a boxer on the ropes, these warm-weather plants have suffered one too many right hooks to the jaw, and they're slow to get up.
droopy globemallow

I fear my irises may be done blooming for this year,
droopy irises

but hopefully not the bluebonnets.
bluebonnets on ice

The poppies and four-nerve daisies had just started to bloom. Waa, poor little daisy.
icy poppies and daisies

I expect the gopher plant will be fine,
icy gopher plant

but I'm not so sure about the Texas mountain laurel buds. (The tree itself will be fine, of course, and live to bloom another day.)
icy Texas mountain laurel

All the roses are heavy with ice,
icy Old Blush rose

with icy rosebuds,
icy Mutabilis rose

and icy new foliage. Fingers crossed all will be well.
icy Dame du Coeur rose

This Pacific chrysanthemum had new foliage coming up from the roots - SLAP!
Pacific chrysanthemum on ice

The ice made interesting patterns on the agave,
icy agave

and the feathergrass.
icy feathergrass

Well, time to fill up the bird feeders and move on with life.
icy bird feeder

No use crying over droopy icy plants - what's done is done. Guess I should have listened to Punxsutawney Phil. What wins and losses are you seeing in your late winter garden? Leave a comment and let me know.

Words and photos © 2009-2014 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. That thundersleet was pretty exciting, but I'm very sad about the iris. I had dozens of iris blooms all over the garden. Oh well, like you said, no use crying over droopy icy plants. I guess I'm most concerned about my fruit trees. They were in an advanced stage of flowering, so hopefully there were plenty of unopened buds in reserve.

  2. What a shame about your iris buds. I keep hoping the mountain laurels will manage a bloom cycle despite the late freeze, especially those that had only just begun to bud. You got some good pics of the icy beauty at least. Here's hoping winter is finally satisfied and will head back north where it belongs.

  3. So I noticed this last week that one of the Mountain Laurels close to my work is blooming. It's like the craziest thing.

  4. Nipped in the bud is indeed the best phrase to describe what happened last week. What a pity your iris were lost. Ice does make for some pretty pictures though.

  5. I had a nice iris bud that I think is done for. Lots of new growth and then we ended up flying out of town the day the ice came so we didn't see the disaster until we returned. Lost half of our bee hive.