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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.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Cold is Cold to a Floridian?

Ask any of us. Just as diverse will be the answers as the number of us asked.

There really isn't any wrong answer. We all have our preferences and reasons to back them.

We are a spoilt lot, for the most part, being very comfortable with our wonderfully mild winter climate.

For me, it is all about the plants.

If it gets too cold for the plants to survive happily then it is too cold for this Florida native. Not because I don't personally like the cold. I do.

When the temperatures drop to 40's and 50's (which is lots chillier than we get on a regular basis) it is energizing. It just gets my blood moving. It makes me want to don a favorite knit scarf and snuggly sweater and head outdoors.

In Florida the sun shines so beautifully even on our cooler days. There is nothing more invigorating than crisp blue skies and a frisky chill in the air to get some serious gardening accomplished.

Alas, the north winds are blowing across this great country and they have reached all the way down into my beloved sub-tropical peninsular with warnings of freezing temps for the night hours.

I'd be so pleased if we could have made it through December without dropping to the dreaded 32 degree mark. After all most of us know December is very early for such warnings. It's not even winter yet.

Oh well. It is what it is and there isn't anything we can do to change it. The farmers and growers have it much worse than what my little garden might suffer.

Today was a brilliantly sunny day, windy and yes, 50's. Which made it a good day to get the camera & catch some glimpses of today's conditions. Just in case a few things look differently tomorrow. :-)

We'll let the chips fall as they may for the next couple of nights. That's not to say we won't be hoping for the best. But no need to get our dander up over what we can't control.

Except for the tomato plants. There's no doubt they needed some extra layers for protection. All snuggled up under drop cloths they are tonight. So early in the season. But oh, how they want to come to maturity and turn into red, ripe fruit for winter scrumptiousness. I just know they do.


  1. Dear Meems ~ The colder weather is invigorating that is for sure. We feel alive again. I brought in three orchids, everything else will have to fend for themselves. Tonight it is supposed to get down to 33 and feel like it's 19. But it is supposed to warm up again. I hope you have no great losses.

    Have a lovely wintry, Christmas season.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Sorry Meems, no sympathy up here in Buffalo! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Anything below 70 is cold to us Southern Belle's, Meems :-) Sorry to hear that you are getting some of our frigid cold down there. Hope your garden will not suffer too badly.

  4. FlowerLady,
    It is survival of the fittest for this garden. I'm glad you brought in your orchids. They would not like it this cold. Stay warm down there.

    No, it would be difficult for you to spread any sympathy while digging out of snow. Hope you're keeping warm by the fire.

    You have learned well how to make it through winters in your transplanted state. We'll be okay down here. In true Florida fashion it will be sunny and 70's again in a couple of days. :-)So nice to see you.

  5. Meems, I ran out after work and took pictures, as you know it may look different tomorrow. Good luck tonight. Merry Christmas. Janis

  6. Hi Meems,
    That's a good idea to take photos like that before a possible frost/freeze. Things have been looking better for this time of year than usual, and I went around taking a lot of photos the other day. I don't know if I'll get any of them posted, because I had other things I wanted to post about. It depends on what else the weather does, and whether something else grabs my attention.

    Your place is looking great, and I hope it continues to. When I got to the photo of your tomatoes, I was relieved when I read you had covered them.

    It's supposed to be warmer where you are, and I hope it continues to be.

  7. Oh yeah baby it's 29 right now at 4:36 a.m. and will be 25 tomorrow night, North is quite early to be this cold this long. We can always dream that it means winter will be over early in Florida. Meems do keep us updated on your temperature and the survival rate of your gardens...Floridagardengirl seriously needs valium, she's been stressing for days now.....I'm letting the chips fall where they may with only my Jane Cowell Hibiscus covered outside and my Painted Lady Hibiscus brought indoors...we shall see.

  8. 5:30 this morning, the NWS (National Weather Service) said it was 37. That is a great sign that it did not make it to the predicted low of 32. My lanai is crowded...moved a lot of the potted plants in. Think I will leave them for taking them in and out.

    That was a great idea to take pics yesterday. Maybe I should do that today as 31 is predicted for tonight. Sure glad I passed on tennis this morning...I'm not like you...I cannot handle the cold.

    So thankful that I live in Florida and do not have to shovel snow!


  9. Hope all made it through okay last night, Meems. I am not looking forward to doing a check on all of the plants that couldn't be covered. Ah well, a chance to start over, I guess! Stay toasty!

  10. Meems: Best wish to you and your garden! Hope this short freeze won't cause too much damage. You are right, this freeze just came too early of the season. I am writing this at airport, and will be on a business trip for the rest of the week. All I did last night was taking all my orchids indoors, and dug three clumps of different color ground orchids out and put them in the garage. The rest of them are not even covered. Hope they will be fine without gardener's attention.

    Stay warm.

  11. Since my tomatoes are in containers, I brought them into the back porch and covered them. A few other things were covered but just two or three. The orchids, of course, have been in the house for a week or so.

    This native Floridian loves having 70's in the day and 50's at night but NO colder than that!

  12. We have relatives in Florida and we know they have been shivering! They wonder why they left Massachusetts until they see it is 20 degrees and windy here. It's warm in the kitchen though and I'm giving away a great cookbook. Help me celebrate my blogoversary!

  13. Dear meems, it's too early for the extreme cold that is rushing across the south as it is! Brr...I hope your garden is safe from a serious freeze. Gail

  14. I don't like it, Meems! Too cold for Florida! As we just moved, many of my beloved plants are still in pots but many are too heavy to move. Of course I brought in what I could, but I have to cross my fingers and hope for the best like everyone else. Hope your garden makes it through unscathed this wiinter!

  15. Janis,
    I do hope all your tree-cover protected your lovely garden.

    Unfortunately I only covered half of the tomatoes. The taller, vining ones had to fend for themselves and the still, colder night we had last night was not friendly to them. They are laden with frost this morning. :-( I look forward to seeing the pics you've taken of your garden.

    Thank you... always appreciate the warmth.

    Tuesday night only a few coleus were nipped which was expected. Last night the wind stopped and as you know that means trouble. There is frost on the most 'open' places in my garden. Most tender veggies like pole beans and green beans are damaged. And all the tomatoes left uncovered. Greens, lettuce, broccoli... all will be fine when the frost leaves. The mostly tree covered areas will most likely be fine as it barely dipped to freezing last night. Except for having to 'look' at the damage for a couple of months... it is just the way it goes with weather. I'm not fighting it anymore. And I'm definitely not stressing out over it (today anyway). :-)

    I am always amazed at how much colder you get up there in the NORTH! Hope your garden doesn't mind.

  16. Siesta Sister,
    I hope your lanai served you well last night. And hopefully you stayed warmer than we did. It got a few degrees colder here and the winds subsided. So we got some frost for the first time this year. Early stuff!

    I did not move anything up under the lanai which is always a few degrees warmer. I can already see some tender leaves tinged from the frost this morning.

    It all works out in the end. I hope your garden is doing alright. I'm trying not to fight with nature anymore. Sometimes your plants will come back even better than before. We may have to look hard for it but ... there's always a hidden blessing to find.

    I'm sure your orchids appreciated the extra attention. I would have moved orchids if I had them. :-) I don't think you got as cold down there so your garden will likely be fine when you return. Be safe and thanks for the visit from the airport. :-)

  17. Kay,
    It looks like you'll have your favorite weather back for the weekend? Then another threat for next week. Thanking God for our tree-cover aren't we!!! Glad you protected your orchids and you make a good case for container tomatoes!

  18. Pat,
    Happy three years! I'm pretty sure half of Massachusetts is here right now ~~~ according to the traffic. 20 degrees is great by the fire... or in the kitchen.

    We Floridians are whiners for sure when it comes to messing with our mild winters. We like it when our gardens take this season unscathed. I hate to say it, but I think I'm finally getting used to these weird weather trends. We just have to take them as they come. There are too many other things to be thankful for and I don't have time to be stressed over the weather. (Not this week anyway)Thank you for the visit... I'll get back to C & L soon...**hugs**

  19. Kimberly,
    So nice to see you. Hope all is well over on your coast. Moving is never fun or easy. Best wishes to you, your family, and your new garden.

  20. I hope your garden survives and that your tomatoes ripen.

  21. Hi Meems...I do wish that cold weather energized me because I have a lot that I need to do, but unfortunately, I want to hibernate. It definitely is way too early for such a cold-blast as this one, and I hope your veggies and other plants make it okay. We hovered around 32 this morning, and so far everything looks okay. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  22. Working outside on a day in the 50's with just a light sweater or jacket sounds perfect to me! We're supposed to get below zero next week, so even the 30's sound good. But I know it's cold for your area, and I hate to think what it will do to the citrus and other crops grown in Florida. Your garden looks so lovely, Meems; hope those tomatoes stay warm!

  23. Bom,
    Thank you for the well wishes. The tomatoes left uncovered did not fare well. The bushes that were covered look pretty good.

    I know what you mean about the temptation to hibernate ... especially when we look outside and we think "cold". But getting past that and getting outside I find it is never as cold as I imagine and working in that cooler weather when the sun is shining brightly is energizing(to me). But if you decide to hibernate it's a really good time of year to do it. :-)

    Oh, dear. Below zero is COLD. Floridians would surely perish in below zero temps... of course our gardens would never return from it either.

    I realize you expect those temps but wow... please stay safe and warm.


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