Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I read with interest last week that the temperatures were going to drop way down (today we have a high of 25 degrees, with a whopping 16 degrees overnight), so I took a few steps to protect tender plants.

–The salad greens:  Under PVC pipes  that make hoops over the beds, and then covered them with clear plastic, holding down the edges with bricks.  Of course, it has also been very windy, so I had to modify some of the bricks with larger rocks, and that seemed to work.  They’ll look a little wilted with these extreme temperatures, but should spring back when it warms up and starts raining again.

–The more tender perennials:  I covered my cut-back delphiniums, agapanthus and young phygellius plants with clear plastic and rocks.

–Annuals that never die:  I’m thinking Cerinthe major ‘Purpurescence’, which is a lovely turquoise-foliaged and purple tubular flowered beauty.  I have several baby plants and a few large plants out in the garden, so I covered those as well with plastic and rock to hold it down.  If last year was any indication,  I will lose some of these in the more open areas, but the ones tucked in beside the house in warmer pockets should survive.  I’ve had them blooming in February in some years.

I had waited til the last minute to pull up the tender bulbs, but I did get the dahlias, begonias, canna and calla lilies dug up, washed off and bagged up with labels.  I keep the mesh bags in which onions and oranges are often sold and use them for this purpose.

For another post, but worth a quick mention now–keep your bird feeders full now, and if you can provide water, do so.  The little guys, including black-capped chicadees, scrub jays and Anna’s hummingbirds that are in my garden now certainly appreciate it.

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