Monday, January 16, 2017


Definitely LOOKS like Winter has come through...

The fields are brown and dormant, and the trees have lost their leaves (the green colors left in the photos are invasive vines growing in trees behind us).

This is one of two citrus, the orange and the lemon, they look fine...  

...this however is the lime tree.  
The leaves have been freeze burned but the tree still looks viable.  
Fingers crossed.

This is the bay laurel tree, 2nd Man was happy.

Here is one of the avocados.  
They don't look good but like the lime tree, hopefully they still have life in them.  

Sadly this is the aloe.  
100% my fault, forgot to move it inside for protection.  Sigh.

Here is a plant that we were happy with, it's called "Gold Star Esperanza" and it was another that just took root where it sat and was doing great.  Not sure if it will come back, we won't pull it up and will wait for Spring to see if it's alive.

This is the blue plumbago, probably got it in the ground too late in the season for it to be established but we'll see.

Lost all the ferns hanging in baskets on the porch.  Again, my fault, didn't put them inside.  Maybe we need some hanging plants that aren't so sensitive to freezing weather, if there is such a thing.

For some reason, the back of the house is covered in mildew again?!?!  Maybe being the North side and somewhat shaded this time of year?  

Too bad the freeze can't kill all this!

Here's a tree that fell, not sure why, it might have been dead but with the brush around it we couldn't see it.  In the wind and cold, it just fell over.  Now I have something unexpected to add to the list for Spring...lovely. 

And here is hope...this is the lavender we just planted a couple of months ago. It was doing great and we were both excited to have lavender.  This is what it looked like.  Now that's not frost on the foliage (kinda looks like it but this was mid 70's weather so definitely not, ha).  I moved the dead leaves and found green underneath.  I think there is hope for this one.

And of course, we have to laugh when we can.  Saw this and thought it was just too fun and just had to share.  

Yep, this is the way it is in this part of Texas.


Colleen said...

A shame that you lost some of your plants to a freeze especially your aloe. It turned to mush just like mine had done a few years ago when it froze.
Fruit trees don't do well in Texas when we get freezing temperatures unless they are covered with freeze cloth or in containers where they can be moved inside, out from the freezing temperatures.
Go to Home Depot or else where and get you some freeze cloth or even buying old sheets at thrift / goodwill stores would even help or Some sort of cloth fabric to cover your plants before Texas gets another freeze. Will have it on hand that way.
In a pinch you could use plastic but that would have to be removed the next morning. In your case out of the farm cloth is your best option in covering trees, shrubs, low growing plants, etc. Not only does the freeze cloth help to protect the plants, the plants also get the air circulation as well to where using plastic they won't get that air circulation as needed.
Had some scary moments last night with the tornadoes and all in our area. Sleepless night last night.
We did get rain and Lots of it. We got at least 5 inches but don't know how much more than that cause our gauge was running over.

donna baker said...

Put a grow light in you shed and your plants in pots. It is working in this storage room in the city house. The greenhouse at the farm has so far not run out of propane so maybe I'll get a large crop of citrus this year. Winter sucks but at least you have that pretty blue sky.

Anne in the kitchen said...

Bummer about your lost plants. I have found things in the ground here will usually survive occasional freezes. I forgot to bring my ferns and hibiscus in when we had ours. It looks like the ferns are toast, but I am not giving up on the hibiscus yet. And now it is nearly 80 degrees and everything wants to bloom, but I am pretty sure cold weather will come back. Late February and early March are usually our trickiest times for winter.

Colleen said...

I apologize. I meant to say citrus trees and not fruit trees that don't grow well here in Texas.
My lemon I have in container and put in my shed when freezing temperatures are in the forecast

Colleen said...

Anne; if your hibiscus is a hardy hibiscus and Not a tropical it will be fine. A tropical hibiscus will not make it here in freezing temperatures unless brought inside or covered with cloth. A tropical hibiscus has the shiny/glossy leaves and the hardy hibiscus are not.

MargaretP said...

Good luck with trying to save what you can, how dissapointing to have lovely living things so badly affected or dead.
A lot of plants are more hardy than you think, just put them where they will be safe or protect the ones inground, keep watering them even if they look hopeless, I have seen a very old big fern put on new growth after pretending to be dead for weeks.It can be worth persevering with the watering and as soon as you see any new growth you can start to fertilize.
Fingers crossed with a bit of effort and care they can be saved.
Next Winter might need a list of precautions and care to help you get set up for the freeze outside as well as emptying pipes etc.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Can you cover some of your plants to protect them from the wind and frost? Maybe make a plastic wind break for the fruit trees.

Elephant's Child said...

Fingers and toes crossed. I am always amazed at how hardy plants can be. Unless you paid an arm and a leg for them in which case they will turn up their toes whatever you do.

Mike Yukon said...

For your mold I recommend; Wet and Forget 10587 1 Gallon Moss, Mold and Mildew Stain Remover.
I use it and it works great. A quick spray once a year and you’ll never have mold again.

Mary said...

Oh, that made me feel so sad for you to see your lovely pretties freezing. In the past I have been surprised at how many plants have come back for me. When I would see that first sight of green, I felt like doing a happy dance. You have received some great suggestions. I hope they help and that you get many green surprises. Blessings.

Texas Rose said...

So sad that you had so much damage. It's really disheartening to put so much work and expense into them and then to see it all dead or damaged - that's how I felt about mine.
You can test for viability by scratching the bark with your fingernail - if it shows some green, there is a good chance that it will survive; you will have to trim it back until you get to the green part.
Hoping the Spring brings lots of green to your survivors.

1st Man said...

2nd Family told us we got a little over 5 inches at the farm! Crazy! And more coming tomorrow. Tornadoes as well. Will have an update with all that. These trees are all on the porch, bunched together and against the side of the house, so that they are more protect but I guess not enough. And yep, I figured you meant the citrus. The fruit trees need the chill hours. Farm cloth is a great idea, thank you for that! Next year, they'll be in the ground and I'll have to do something.

1st Man said...

They sky was gorgeous, we have to take beauty where we can, right? ;-)

Great idea about the shed. Of course these should all be in the ground this time next year so we'll have to see. Maybe I should just plant things that don't freeze, ha.

Thanks for the tip!!

1st Man said...

I'm hoping some of them will. Especially the bigger bushes. Ferns are definitely not going to make it, ours are definitely toast. Oh well, they were scraggly after a couple of years, time for new, ha.

It's tricky here too about that time. We've had surprise freezes in late March actually. But February can be brutal at times.

1st Man said...

Colleen this is great advice. Hibiscus are so popular here in Houston area and most of the time they are fine. But when one of these comes along, you just never know. Great info about the tropical vs hardy, thank you for this tip!!!

1st Man said...

Yes, definitely changing the preparedness list for next Winter. I only pulled up one plant (very much dead) but the others I'll water and just see what happens. Thanks for the words of encouragement. Fingers crossed!!!

1st Man said...

Well, the fruit trees (the citrus) were all on the porch, bunched up and against the house so that they'd be protected, or so I thought, ha. This time next year they'll be in the ground and I'll have to definitely come up with a wind break of some sort. The other fruit trees (peach, pear, apple, plum) seem to be fine and I think they need "chill hours" anyway so that should be good. Fingers crossed! Thanks for the advice, don't forget to remind me next year before I forget, ha.

1st Man said...

LOL that's too funny! Nope none were expensive so hopefully they'll bounce back, ha.

1st Man said...

Wow Mike, thanks for this tip. I just looked it up and it looks like exactly what we need. Much appreciated! I'll get some and we'll use it and I'll post about it. Thanks again!!!

1st Man said...

Aww, you're so sweet, thank you! We're hoping they bounce back. I'll be glad to do a happy dance!! Stay tuned! Ha!

1st Man said...

Great tip about the bark, thanks for that. I'm sorry you lost some too. It is disheartening isn't it? I can imagine yours that have been so lovingly cared for all this time. Hang in there, Spring is coming!!!