February 11, 2021
As I look out the window, it’s hard to believe this beautiful, warm twilight by the pool was just two evenings ago. Today a cold rain is freezing to tree limbs and encasing ready-for-spring plants in heavy ice. Shrubs are bent low. Bamboo is nearly prostrate. As I stood on my patio a little while ago, I heard a splintering crack and watched over the fence as one of my neighbor’s big live oaks smashed through their back fence into the greenbelt, a victim of the ice.
I’m worried about our trees and agaves and all the young plants I’ve been planting over the past few months. (Winter is normally a great time to plant here.) Austin weather forecasts are showing insane overnight temperatures of 15F and 7F. Seven degrees! What hardiness zone even is that? It’s certainly not central Texas’s zone 8b. I’ve heard we’ll have 4 days starting Sunday where we won’t even climb above freezing. I’ve also heard this will be the coldest weather Austin has seen in 30 years.
I know many of you reading this are worried about your gardens too, as extreme cold affects much of the U.S. this week and next. Hang onto your mittens, and here’s hoping our gardens come through this visit to the North Pole with minimal damage. One bright side: our independent nurseries will surely have record sales this spring, and we like to help our nurseries thrive!
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events
Take a guided tour of the John Fairey Garden at 11 am on Feb. 27 to see camellias in bloom and more. Located in Hempstead, Texas. $10 per person, or free for members and children.
New to central Texas? Learn about native Texas plants and gardening tips in “Gardening for Newcomers,” a virtual class at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on March 6, from 9 to 11 am. Cost is $35, with a discount offered for members of the garden.
Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring garden designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. (While in-person talks are currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, I plan to resume again as soon as possible.) Talks are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added.
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