It got mighty cold here in Austin this past week. Yes, that's snow in my backyard!
Kind of funny, given all the green leafies in the background!
When I wasn't fretting about my children, who were suffering from a most horrible cold, I was fretting about my little baby plants, suffering night time lows in the teens.
I have a chicken wire critter cage protecting my raised bed out back, so it was easy enough to throw a light blanket over it. There it is, just to the left of the abominable snow-dad chasing my daughter up there. Whatever critter I've been protecting my plants from (raccoon? cat? something biggish!) jumped right on top of my cage and stove the top in, but luckily nothing is growing in the middle. Anyway, I was kind of surprised to see my big badass broccoli looking so sad and wilted! I assumed all I needed to do was cover it.
It's sort of wrinkly and shrunken. I have a lot to learn and am extremely grateful I'm not reliant on my gardening skills for our food. Next time it gets chilly, I may try leaving incandescents burning. I've also heard it can help to leave buckets of water under the tent, but the other night a bucket of water would have frozen, and then wouldn't a giant ice cube cool things down even more? Or is an ice-cube warmer than the ambient air temps when it gets down to 16 degrees?
What did surprise me was that my lettuce seedlings, in the same bed as the broccoli, look just fine? Perhaps I underestimated the wind? I don't think my backyard is particularly windy, given the bamboo thicket just south of us and the crowded lots in our very urban neighborhood. That said, the top completely snapped off one of the few healthy looking trees at the bottom of the garden, so maybe I'm not the best judge of windspeed back there!
I have to admit to totally neglecting the herb pots on my front porch. That front southwest corner of our house was so cold (lots of single pane windows, completely uninsulated pier and beam foundation) that in an effort to get our living room warm enough to spend any time in whatsoever, I resorted to the high tech solution of taping a fleece blanket over the so-drafty-it-might-as-well-be-open front door (with UGLY packaging tape). I also kept the curtains (hideous red polyester drapes my landlord abandoned) tightly closed. Out of sight, out of mind and by the time this morning, and warmer temps, rolled around I was sure I'd killed everything out front. Well, everything except the rosemary, right?
Actually, the tips of the rosemary were still nice and green, but otherwise, it was a horrible greyish black. My thyme looks happy as can be, and the extra onion sets I stuck in a window box? Well, to be honest, only time will tell. They look exactly the same as when I planted them two weeks ago, whereas the ones in my raised bed out back are clearly swelling up under the soil.
I miss sunsets over the ocean. Some evenings it was just achingly beautiful, and I never lost my appreciation for the view as one crested that last bluff on our drive home. We could see Oceanside's pier to the north of us, down to where La Jolla jutted out into the ocean and it was gorgeous. It's very flat where I live right now and our view of sky seems obstructed by the trees and buildings in my neighborhood. Yesterday afternoon I watched these trees as the color on them shifted to golden. Nothing can quite match sunset over the water, but I felt quite peaceful watching my golden trees sway ever so slightly in the late afternoon...well, except when my glance shifted over the right where there the branches have caught someone's cast off plastic bag. Gives me a sad.