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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Yesterday I changed the face/design of my blog site (as I do occasionally) to reflect the New Year greeting and to display the photos I had taken of my January garden. After tonight all those blooming flowers might not survive.

Considering the fact the rest of this half of the country is experiencing several inches of snow right now this post is probably going to sound pathetic to some of my fellow northerly gardeners. It’s even snowing in Georgia!
I must confess I am very grouchy about the blast of cold air coming our way tonight.

Tuning to the local weather broadcast numerous times over the past two days I kept hoping there might be something changed about the forecast--- as is the case so often in this part of the country. A few degrees can make all the difference for plant life in Florida. The prediction for overnight is for temps to drop in my little tropical corner of the world to around 27 degrees. The coldest it’s been in about 5 years.

Now, those who know me also know I LOVE cold weather. We have so little of it here that when a cold system actually pushes its way this far south I am the first to shout hallelujah! Only… NO!… it can’t drop to freezing! In a quick hour or two --since freezing temps rarely hold for even that long around here---I stand to lose so much of my garden. It would almost be easier to accept if the cold was here for a longer period of time or if we DID get some snow. Then maybe it wouldn’t feel like we were being sabotaged by the blast we will get tonight. The other irritating fact is the cold air will be a distant memory by the weekend when it will get back to 77 or 78 degrees. Craziness! And the whining continues...

SO… we have this thing we do down here in this part of the country when we think it’s going to freeze.
I ran around to the home stores gathering ½ inch PVC pipe (that I had cut into 3 ft lengths), canvas drop cloths, and $5 blankets from the dollar store… oh, and lots of clothes pins. Funny how the local stores always run out of clothes pins when this happens. The young clerk I asked to help me find them at Walgreen’s didn’t know what I was talking about. His response to me… “Are you talking about the pens you write on your clothes with?” Oh my. Then he called the manager to ask him if they had clothes pins. They were sold out.
My equipment for the task. I keep a bin in the garage
with old cloths of every sort for just this purpose.
I moved all my potted plants (not fun) into the screened area and some into the garage... they are huddled up together close to the house.
For over three hours today I draped/wrapped my most tender plants with old sheets, tablecloths, blankets and all the additional paraphernalia I purchased. First I hammered the PVC pipe into the ground which serves to keep the weight of the drapes up off of the plants. With the stakes in place, it is a matter of using clothes pins to connect them and anchoring bricks to keep the wind from lifting the cloths. The wind was helping to drive down the "feels like" temps today but tonight it will die down just so that cold air can settle in and do its damage.
Incessant whining ...
The first section of my front yard staked and ready for drapes.
It would be impossible for me to cover every tender or susceptible plant so I had to choose the most vulnerable. My back yard looks like this too. Most of central Florida looks like this actually.
Tomorrow all of this will be disassembled and put away--- hopefully for another 5 years.
Hope my plants/flowers are staying cozy out there. Sorry you had to put up with my whining.
I think I thought I'd feel better now. WAAAAAAA!


  1. Oh, whine away! I'd normally be whining myownself, but I've kinda resigned myself to it this year. It's supposed to linger in the low teens here tonight. BRRRR!!!!! I do wish I'd been able to get out there and re-mulch my rose garden. Oh, well, que sera, sera. Hope your tenders survive and don't have to face any more frigid nights like this.

  2. Each time I walked outside and felt the temperature dropping, I wondered how all the gardeners and farmers would survive this random cold snap.
    For your sake (and all the others) I was hoping it wouldn't get as cold as they predicted. However, it seems that it did get pretty cold. I hope everything in your garden survived the night.

  3. meems, hope everything survived. It sure hasn't been this cold in a long while.

    I guess Algore must have stopped talking for a few minutes and the respite of hot air has brought forth a major cold snap.

    Sorry couldn't help it.

    I know what you mean about these random cold snaps. We had one up here last spring which left us scrambling to protect and bunch of freshly planted annuals. It seems like such a waste because the cold never lasts and then it is right back to normal Fl weather.

    Make sure you update us and let us know ow everything faired.

  4. sophie: I'm counting on this to be a once and for all winter freeze. It is highly unlikely we will have two in one year. My whining was pathetic I have to admit.

    Hey- if you get a chance check out the little birds on my update and share your keen eye for ID... Please.:-)

    jane: I felt even more pitiful when I thought about the strawberry farmers and then today hearing they had some failed water pumps and lost acres of strawberries. That's a whole lot more serious than my little garden.

    NT: ALGORE- WHEW! He could cause global warming all by himself... LOL!

    The update is up and I knew when I was whining I would be sorry for my grumbling. Someday I'll learn.


Have a blessed day,

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