Back in the Sun

The Anole Lizard stayed in the plant and after the last cold night, I was able to move it back outside on the patio. Good hunting little lizard.


The Aftermath

After the freeze, many plants were turned to mush. These need to be cut back as soon as possible.

Woody plants turned crispy and they are to be left alone. Fingers crossed, they may come back.

The winners so far are spring seedlings I had planted, some kind of Rudbeckias and the Camellias kept their leaves and buds. Now it is up to Automatic Garden to renew herself. This freeze is the garden’s biggest test as of yet.


Survived the Cold

I believe this is the Anole Lizard that was living in the church birdhouse. I found the lizard in its favorite plant that I had moved to the garage for the freeze. The lizard is looking a little peaked, but sunshine is on the way.


Beautiful, But Deadly

Today we woke up to the ground covered with snow. It was a beautiful site.

The overnight temperatures dropped to 16 degrees.

For those of you in a northern climate, it is no big deal. But here on the Gulf Coast, it has been difficult to deal with. Our houses are not made to keep the heat in, it is just the opposite. We do not have equipment to clean our roads. And the people that provide our electricity were not prepared. Many have spent hours without heat or water. I have been lucky so far. We are facing another frigid night.

My plants have froze and are turning to mush.

I am pretty sure the ones I covered are not going to make it.

A majority of plants here stay green in the winter and also bloom.

Snow is beautiful, but deadly in a climate that is not prepared.


The Will to Live

Every year I post pictures of my beautiful azaleas. They are six feet tall and bloom profusely each spring.

Over the past summer something attacked and killed the center azalea.

One small bit of it rooted and is producing a flower. The azalea will not give up its will to live.


A Winter Home

This Anole Lizard has found the perfect winter home in the church birdhouse. It has been peeking out of the door all winter and I finally got a shot of the anole with my phone. There are two other birdhouses on the plant stand, but the church in the middle was just right.


Violets

At this time of my life, the seasons seem to fly by. I was surprised to see violets blooming this early, but for this climate winter is about over. I planted violets against the advice that they would become invasive. I managed to keep them under control. The only violet I can identify is the middle one which was originally sold as a Confederate Violet (this is the South) and I later found out it was an Australian Violet. Spring is on its way.


Spring Growth

Winter can be short on the Gulf Coast. Yes, those temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s make us shiver and when temperatures reach the 30’s, we really complain and bundle up. But as far as the plants are concerned, only a short winter nap is needed. The Snowflake bulbs have begun to emerge.

Self- sowing seedlings of the Swamp Sunflower have already made quite a few leaves.

A new stalk on the spiral ginger has grown nearly two feet and is ready to open its first leaf.

Salvia coccinea regrows from it roots and this one has made flowers. There is a downside to all this new growth. If we get a freezing front from the north, all that tender growth will die back and will need to begin again.


Ready to Fly

I happened upon an open Butterfly Weed pod just when it was ready to fly on this windy day.


Waiting

In this climate we plant our spring seeds in the fall and winter and I have been waiting for every leaf to fall from this tree.

In order to plant the seeds, I need to remove all the leaves to get to the soil. Unfortunately, because I have many plants that grow during the winter, I have to pick out all the leaves by hand. No raking here.

I have come up for an inventive way to keep leaves off seedlings in smaller spaces with picnic tents that are normally used to keep bugs from food. Cleaning the bed by hand takes a little more work, but many of these plants are not available in nurseries and only do well with direct sowing.