Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sprung (the past tense of Spring)

Spring is a tease in these parts these days.

Here we are in mid-January and the redbuds are blooming, Japanese magnolias are exploding all over town, daffodils have poked up, even one of our azaleas even sports a pair of blossoms. (Sure, they're down low, lying on the driveway and no doubt benefiting from the warmth stored in the concrete but those flowers are real.)

It's all a tease.

We've gone many weeks without temps dropping below 32 degrees -- and that's only at night. We've gone more than 20 years since the daytime high was below freezing. In South Louisiana, we measure freezes more in hours than degrees. For our citrus and other tender plants, the key to surviving the cold is not how cold it gets but how long it stays cold.

It's gonna freeze tonight. Down into the 20's. That's notable, even for this time of the year. Predictions call for at least two more nights in the 20s this week.

At dusk, H. (our eldest) brought in tender potted plants from outside while I harvested the last of the cauliflower and broccoli. I left one of the cauliflowers to see how it will survive the night. I expect it will do fine.

Nothing we can do about redbuds, daffodils or azaleas but we're as ready as we're going to be for the coming chill.

With highs in the 70s last week, even the idea of a freeze seemed remote. But, we've been here long enough to know better.

Saturday afternoon, between warm downpours, Dr. Spouse and I ventured out to shop for fruit trees. We want to add another eight or so -- mostly citrus -- to the back corner of the yard. We knew we were just looking.

No matter what neat varieties or great prices we might come across, we were JUST LOOKING. We reminded ourselves that last freeze date around here in late February to early March. We found a good source with good trees at good prices and common sense won out.

After all, we told each other, we could have another freeze this winter.


  1. I like your site! It's awesome to see other Louisianians with garden blog. I'll be checking back!

  2. James:

    Thanks for my first-ever comment.