They were left out from under the shelter of blankets...too many of them and not enough covers. I resigned myself to the fact that they, along with so many other varieties, wouldn't make it through the night.
On my Thursday morning walk through the garden I was fully anticipating, in my positive thinking sort of way, not to see much damage. When the bird baths were iced over I knew things had gotten a bit worse than I expected.
The biggest challenge I had was how to cover the 7 foot tall tomato plants. They are loaded with tomatoes not yet ripe. I used 8 foot stakes and nailed canvas drop cloths to them to make a wall behind them and used it as an anchor to then drape sheets over the tops, fastening the fabrics together with clothes pins.I left the pole beans, green beans, radishes, and carrots, which have given us great food all winter, out to fend for themselves. They really had no defense against the ice that covered their pretty green leaves.The angel wing begonias located all over Hoe and Shovel in containers and in the ground didn't stand much of a chance. They weren't as lovely as they had been but were all still bravely hanging on until spring's rejuvenation. Well, as of Wednesday anyway. If you've been here before you've heard me speak of this one (above) living so gigantic at the corner of the pool patio. Wednesday was to be its last healthy photo op for a while.
It was a frozen mess the next morning. She will be reduced to normal size and start her spring days cut back to the top of the pot. And can you see the giant split leaf philodendron just behind it outside the screen? Its enormous stalks and leaves bent over under the weight of the cold. I haven't seen that in years.
Last week plants and flowers that were waist high to the three year old (a regular traveler of these pathways) and that provided us with loads of color for all our wintery days ...
... and gave us places to run through the pathways and hide and play...
... are a melted down mushy mess today.
Please hear me when I say I'm not reporting these events in hope of pity or sympathy. Really. The gardens north of me deal with this kind of thing all the time. There are much worse things that could happen. This garden will carry on and we will keep growing. Our spring comes early and after all gardening is a risk we take against so many elements.
I record these events more for a journal of the good and the bad and everything in between.
There are Florida farmers who depend on growing for their living who were hit with this weather and effected badly. I am praying for them and hoping for the best for them. The pink firespike that photographed so perky and happy in the first frame of this post did not appreciate those cold nights one single bit. I bet the amaryllis that border her are glad to be seen now that the firspike is not draping over them and blocking their sunshine. They might even have a chance now to bloom in the next few weeks.
We will stick to our gardening plans and keep working on our new beds trying to hold off on pruning all this deadness. HA... I'll let you know how that works out for me. I've already snipped back some of the impatiens and topped out the tomato plants. I'll be pulling up all the beans and planting some new seed in the next couple of weeks. I've got dirt to haul and dirt to spread.
Not everything is dead. Many plants were quite all right. But many plants that have never been affected are badly damaged. It was random and it was in pockets all over the yard. Every thing will come back... eventually.