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There Was a Chill…

by germinatrix | February 16th, 2010

I fear it, I never want it to happen again ... but frost IS beautiful

The rest of the country is snowy and cold, but right now, here in Los Angeles, it is sunny and SO beautiful. 70 degrees, blue skies, PERFECT gardening weather.

But about a week ago, I had a MAJOR panic. I woke up to a frosty layer glazing my plants – which are mostly heat loving succulents! Last time there was a freeze in my area, I fell into a deep depression. Gardening hasn’t taught me to toughen up and be zen about the vagaries of weather. I am a baby. The fact that my variegated Agave attenuata melted before my eyes three years ago was almost too much to bear. I don’t know if Icould DO it again!

have a seat...

How do my friends in other parts of the country DO IT? Of course you plant things that are adapted to your climate – that is obvious. But when nature does a big “NANNY NANNY BOO BOO” and wipes out what you’ve lovingly created, how do you step back from it and say, “well … that happened”? I am so amazed that many of my blogfriends across the country take these weather related garden disasters in their stride. They are made from tougher stuff than I;

but like my garden, I’m still a work in progress. As my garden grows and changes, so do I – and I will get tougher as it does.

Crossing my fingers!

thankfully, the sun came up and make quick work of the pretty marauder.

thankfully, the sun came up and made quick work of the pretty marauder...

11 Responses to “There Was a Chill…”

  1. Color me weak and forgetful. After the BAD winter (2008/09) I forgot, and replanted things that died and new ones that were just as risky. Turn the page to winter 2009/10 and DUH! All over again. And do I just shrug it off and think “oh well, what did I expect?” no…I am honestly stunned and depressed. While I yearn to be transplanted to your zone Germi I think I would quickly adjust and start planting things that would also be borderline there. It’s an addiction.

    I hope none of your babies were injured in your brief freeze!

  2. I mourn, for at least a day. And then I start to get excited, thinking about all of the possibilities for that newly open space… but then, space is at a premium in my small yard, so any new opening is exciting!

    Beautiful euphorbia in the first photo, btw… :)

  3. Oh, I totally hear you. We’ve already got heat and drought to deal with, and once you find plants that do well with that, having a freeze is just the last straw! I’ve sorta learned to take it in stride, mainly because my balcony is just horrifically overgrown and something dying can occasionally be a good thing. But when I thought my favorite euphorbia (millii ‘Cream Supreme’)had bit the dust in our hard freeze, I about cried. Fortunately it lived; just lost a lot of leaves. Hope your losses are minimal and/or counteracted by amazing plant finds in the spring.

  4. Mother Nautre can certainly be cruel sometimes. I have always gardened in New England and so cold, snow and ice are just part of the package here. But, it is very disheartening when you lose a branch in your favorite tree to the snow or wind because you know it will never ever look the same. If you’re lucky, it will still be attractive, if not it may be time to get rid of it or move it to an out of the way location. I guess that’s part of what keeps in interesting to garden here.

  5. If the weather were perfect in L.A. all the time, Germi, it would be too much for the rest of us to bear. You are delightfully spoiled by your lack of freezing weather—and don’t change a thing! I adore your garden & would cry my eyes out if Jack Frost got it. I watched my own variegated Agave attenuata melt before my eyes this winter, but I am going to plant it again. Do not go easy into that good winter. Rage, rage against the dying of the attenuata!

  6. It’s like what would happen if New England had a freakish warm winter (maybe constant 60 deg?) — no tulips in spring, no flowering fruit trees, perennial plant dormancy all screwed up, no fall color. On second thought, probably only the gardeners would be upset with that scenario!

  7. The patch has lost too many baby agaves to count this year G, and to think how long I spent obsessively planting out all the pups.

    I am glad your Jack “irritating” Frost only popped in for a quick look. My Jack apparently put his slippers next to the freezer, grabbed himself a frozen margarita and settled down on my Barbados cherry for a three-day long nap. If that shrub doesn’t come back in the spring, I will be looking for you Jack, I will, and when I find you?


  8. That first pic really is lovely. Glad that it is warming up-I know how you feel as i feel the same way when we get a spell of very hot summer weather and I lose favourite plants. Check out my latest blog post of Trinidad carnival, I think you will like it.

  9. If anyone can cope you will! LOve your writing style and looking forward to having more contact through GDRT.

    Best Wishes

    The Hegarty Webber Partnership

  10. Loree, You are just a natural zone pusher, and I LOVE that about you! We can’t help it – we love what we love!
    Thankfully, nothing was lost, it was just a little dusting of sugar. THANK GOD!!!

    Oh Summer! What a scare! I have to be like you – I need to see any loss as an opportunity! But I get SO attached. Hopefully, I won’t have to deal with a killing frost THIS year – keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Debbie, that is what AMAZES me about you who garden in frost zones – not only must your plants be hardy, but you need to be hardy, too! Props. Serious respect, because my baby foot-stamping heart can’t take it!

    OMG PAM! I am HEARTBROKEN for you … I know how it feels – when my variegates A. attenuata bit the big one, I was so devastated. They were pretty rare in the trade back then, too – I’d paid an arm and a leg for it. But in the end, I agree – we must rage! I’ll re-plant and SHOW those frosty winds. My crazy garden spirit will NOT be taken down by a freeze – and that is what I learn from those of you tough gardeners who inspire me! XOXO!!!

    Denise, I hadn’t thought of that – you are TOTALLY right! It cuts both ways. But it would be MORE than the gardeners that would be upset – I remember one year when, because of weather issues, the cherry blossoms didn’t bloom in Washington DC – and the whole country was sad! Even though I don’t directly experience the New England / Northeast fall color, I look forward to that time of year – and because of the blogs I read I feel like I CAN be part of it now! We are so much more interconnected and in touch with each others gardens and regions. And I can’t imagine ANYONE not being exhilarated when the spring blossoms start in your neck of the woods!
    So I’LL be a team player and take those winter warm spells FOR you!

    ESP! Say it isn’t SO!!!
    I have to admit that many of my pups were lost, too – but it was MY fault – they were in a bucket waiting to be planted in a nursery bed, and I accidentally forgot it in the rainstorms we had. Sad drowned agave pups. I feel SO bad! But you were so good and ade tose lovely little pots! That was one of my favorite images – the little pots lining your paths. What a great design motif!
    I say you take that Mr. Frost DOWN!
    You must be so SICK of his icy fingers… and I swear, if he touches one more leaf on your Barbados Cherry, I’ll be gunning for him, too! I take care of my friends!

    Thank you Nicole! I’m glad you like the picture! It’s funny – I went outside and was immediately frightened for my plants, but when I saw the euphorbia I forgot it all and ran inside for my camera. Blogger mentality!
    OMG – the pictures of Carnival in Trinidad are OUTSTANDING!!! I was sitting there with my jaw on the floor – such full-tilt beauty!
    Thanks for sharing that with me – it was truly special!

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