Thursday, January 7, 2010


This was the scene that greeted us last evening as we returned to the campsite after a day of garden visits. In the morning we went to Descanso Gardens and in the afternoon the Rancho Santa Anna gardens, close by the Claremont Colleges. At some point in the future I will post about these visits, along with our visit to the Huntington Gardens, but right now the days are too busy to spend any time back at the campsite.

However, I have not forgotten my garden back home. How could I, with all the news about the Arctic chill across the nation. There is not much I can do about my plants back home; nothing I can do to protect my lemon and lime trees from the deep freeze; my winter vegetable garden with peas, radish, chard, arugula, pak choi. What of all the herbs; sages, parsley, thyme, rosemary. Then the tender perennials and annuals. I know some of them will survive. Surely the bluebonnets, blue eyed grass, coreopsis, blanket flowers.
I have even worried about my local nurseries. How will they be coping with the freeze? Many do not have greenhouses where they can protect the most tender of their plants. If they do have protection it is often just a plastic tarp over hoops. Will this be enough against temperatures in the teens?
I have already reconciled myself to a complete makeover in the spring and am making plans, in my head. More natives of course, but will I be able to keep away from some of the plants that I love from milder climates. I doubt it. Gardeners face challenges ever day and not one ever gives up.

This was the scene in the garden in February 2004, when a blanket of snow protected plants from the cold. That is what we need now but, although the rest of the country is getting plenty of this, I don't think Texas will.


  1. It is cold this morning. Yesterday in the 50s. I hope you don't have too much damage, but this winter has been really hard on our plants.
    Have a good time, out there in the West. Can't wait to see your posts about those gardens.

  2. Gorgeous sunset shot. It sounds like you're having a great time in CA. I sure hope the cold isn't devastating to your garden. Here in the north frigid temps are expected, I can't imagine what it's like when it's completely out of character.

  3. The snowy Cordylines (?) are beautiful! I hope everything weathers the storm just fine.

  4. I, too, am reconciled to starting over. I will be very sad to lose some tender things I've nurtured from very small plants for the last 13 years--since we last had weather this cold. However, that's the bald fact of gardening. Plants die. Drought. Flood. Heat. Cold. The garden is never static.

    I try to see this is our opportunity to buy all those plants we wanted but didn't have room for.

  5. It's been a while since I visited and I loved seeing those cactus shots. And go Longhorns! As for this silly winter weather, well I think many of us are redesigning in our heads already. For me it may mean forgetting about agaves and cactus up here. It's been a struggle with all the rains and now this type of winter. We'll see. Have fun!

  6. Linda- we are having a great time and the first post on Huntington is up.
    Teresa-I never had this problem when we lived in Canada. The plants always spent the winter under a blanket of snow and I don't think we even had access to plants that didn't survive a winter there.
    Mss- The realization finally sets in and like you I am thinking about some good that will come out of this. It's going to be an expensive spring.
    Jean-It was wonderful seeing all those cactus. We do have some hardy ones, although I have some that won't make it too. I wonder what more mother nature can throw at us. Time to go shopping.