Cold Snap

The weather this week has been all over the map.  The first two days had mild temperatures with 55 mph winds for hours on end.  These were followed with a relatively calm day with a high near 80 degrees.  That was a great day to work outside.  Like the snap of your fingers, a hard freeze this morning came and went quickly with a high temperature of 60 in the afternoon.icyclehollyI got outside before 7 am this morning to snap pictures of the icicles on plants.  There was no moisture last night –  just the sprinkler system that created these winter beauties.  This Yaupon Holly is dripping with ice crystals

icyclerose3A Knock Out Rose covered in ice.

icyclerose4An earth kind rose bush already leafed out.

icyclestree2The rising sun behind a Cherry Laurel Tree.

icyclestreeThe ice on this Cherry Laurel and every other plant melted so fast, there was no sound of dripping.

icepergolatwirlingbirdMakes me shiver.

icealmondThis Sweet Almond Bush has not been pruned back, yet.

icebirdbathIce on the grass, birdbath, and newly planted Redbud Tree.

Even though this was a fake winter wonderland and brief in existence, the sight was a treat to see it.

“It’s a strange world language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.”   Franklin P. Jones

Winter Yard

Recently I’ve read several articles in gardening magazines about perennials in yards.  Because perennials have the same requirements as weeds (sun and water) for growing, it is difficult to keep those flowerbeds weeded.  I’m not sure I understand that logic.  Don’t most plants need that?

Anyway, as one ages, they suggest that more flowerbed space should be converted to evergreens for easier maintenance.  Looking at my mostly dead yard this winter has made me consider more evergreens just for aesthetics.

Last week on a warm, sunny day in the 70’s, I went out to photograph anything green in the yard.  Of course, I did not take pictures of the incriminating stuff – all those bright green healthy weeds.  Here’s some of the green I found.

liveoak2 This is a native Live Oak that is quite old.  Last year we had it pruned because some branches were hanging to the ground, and there were dead branches up high from a strong wind storm.  We were told it would be healthier, and any future wind would blow through the thinned-out branches.  rosemThis Rosemary bush has become way overgrown, even with some pruning.  For the first few years I didn’t care because I was trying to fill flowerbeds.

The crazy climate where we live has just enough hard freezes to kill anything that isn’t an evergreen.  But most of the winter is quite warm.  The bright sunshine also makes it difficult to take pictures that are not washed out.

rosemary4 The butterflies have been very active on these Rosemary blossoms for several weeks. rosemary rosemary2 Because of our warm, dry winters, plants and trees still have to be watered on a fairly regular basis. cherrylaurelI’ve bragged on this Cherry Laurel before because I started it from a small plant given to me by a friend.  It has not fared as well as usual this winter.  Probably needed more water.

spiderwortMost Spiderworts are not evergreen, so this one must be a fluke.

There are many bloggers in Austin, just 150 miles south of us.  It’s surprising the difference in the survival of the plants there during “winter time”.  Many show pictures of plants that make it through the winter still blooming.  Not here.  But it makes me all the more anxious for the joy of seeing plants coming up in spring.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”  Unknown