Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Apocalypse Freeze

I've been pretty absent in the garden lately.

My excuse was that I was busy entertaining a visiting mother with a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Her last visit to Portland in July, she had a fractured foot. This time, same foot, same boot, different injury. "Getting old is a bitch", so she likes to say.

We did our best to get out of the house and went to our usual nurseries, fish stores, and spice shops to browse and spend money on things that make us happy. Mom could only walk a little bit, then needed to put her foot up and consume several gin and tonics to take the edge off. I needed a few sips of "tolerance juice" on occasion too.

Pontederia dilatata (Royal Pickerel) looking very sad.
I managed to get out in the garden a little bit before the threat of cold weather erupted into "Freezepocalypse", to tidy a little and get some time to preserve my sanity.

I cut a few plants down and cleaned up some more leaves. When I heard about the cold snap, I figured I better leave it all for now. No sense cleaning up plants if they need the protection from the cold.

Empty pond barrel liners are great for covering larger plants.

My weatherman friend kept recommending covering everything and if not kissing it goodbye. I looked at the temperatures on my iPhone so many times and noticed all the bloggers were bracing for the cold.

I got out as many buckets and bins as I could find to cover the tender plants and brought a couple potted things into the house. Since I have no garage or basement - they have to share the living room. My living room looks very tropical now!

The Agave and pup on the left also got covered.
I even moved some of the water lilies into the larger ponds and emptied the smaller ones, just so I could use the liners to cover larger fragile shrubs.That was some cold water!

The bright side to the potential loss maybe shopping for replacement plants in the spring. But so many of the plants are like children and you hate to see anything happen to them. I would feel bad if I lost something because I was too lazy to cover it.

In the end, it sounds like we will still be very cold, but perhaps not as bad as first though. I'm still glad I made the effort to protect as much as I could.

Fingers crossed! 


  1. I covered so many things, the whole time wondering if it will do any good. I'm sure they'd love it if they got uncovered everyday for a bit too, but I just don't have time for that. And then there's the things that are too big to cover. Augh.

    "tolerance juice"'re good!

    1. I haven't had time to survey the damage yet in the daylight, but the first thing I noticed this morning was a shriveled up baby Callistemon rugulosus 'violaceus' I forgot to cover. My plan was to leave the buckets on until the end of the cold. Not enough time to take them off and put them back on everyday.