Walking In A Winter Wonderland ...

A snow covered garden is definitely an unaccustomed sight on my corner of Katy ... so pardon my giddy rhapsodizing and enjoy a rarely seen view of the gardens here at Wit's End. The first and second videos were taken on Friday afternoon and are not my best work but hey, it's hard to focus the camera and keep it moving steadily and gracefully when you're in the throes of a snow-induced euphoria! The third video was taken early this morning and I was very happy to come inside and have a cup of hot coffee by the time I finished. By this afternoon, there was only one small patch of snow left on the ground but the plants were showing the effects of a true hard freeze. It's been so long since we had one that I'd forgotten just how much damage a real freeze could do. On a happy note, though, you'll hear me fretting on the 3rd video about the plants I'd set out into the garden on Thursday, and my fears that they had succumbed to the cold. Most of those had bounced back quite nicely by late afternoon today.

It was interesting to watch and read the meteorologists' explanations of how this storm developed. It truly is a "perfect storm" situation: more often than not, the cold dry air of an Arctic front arrives before or after moisture in the atmosphere's middle and upper levels does. On Friday morning, though, the Arctic air arrived in Houston in tandem with a low-pressure system in the middle and upper atmospheric levels, thus creating an unprecedentedly early snowfall. In fact, according to today's Houston Chronicle, Houston beats Chicago as far as seasonal snowfall this winter! It's pretty freaky that I've had more snow thus far than my friends Mr. McGregor's Daughter, Ramble on Rose and Prairie Rose but I have no illusions that I'll hold that distinction for long!


Carol Michel said…
That was surreal. I liked the part with the birds chirping in the background as you surveyed "the morning after".

Just think of all the new plants you'll get to buy!
Thanks for the shout out. It is very strange when Chicago & Houston have the same weather conditions in December. Here's a little secret Southern gardeners might not know about snow - it's a wonderful insulator. Anything that's covered with snow is protected from the frost and even the hard freeze temperatures if the snow is thick enough, keeping things at 32F. Your conditions are the equivalent of a first freeze in October around here. You'll just have to wait and see what happens with the plants, they may surprise you.
Ramble on Rose said…
Welcome to the wonders of snow! And within a couple days we'll bypass you folks, as we have a major winter storm approaching. I wish sometimes it could be a novelty for me too!
Rose said…
This is amazing, Cindy! You have indeed had more snow than us--in fact, the light dusting we had this morning is the first "snow" we've had all season. But don't worry--we'll soon pass you, with a winter storm predicted for mid-week.

MMD's comment about snow being a good insulator is very helpful advice; you might be surprised at what can survive. Glad to know that most of the plants came back by late afternoon!
Cindy, MCOK said…
Carol, I didn't notice the birds until I was uploading the video. That made me smile, too! I'm not sure how many new plants I'll actually have to buy ... a lot of these are root hardy and should be able to take this freeze and more. We'll see!

MMD and Rose, I'd heard that about snow but never gotten to experience it firsthand. It certainly held true with the herbs, poppies, lobelias and violas. Whew! Hey, I'm updating the post to include Rose and I'll add links for y'all.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Ohmygosh, I didn't see that I had both Roses here! I'll make sure all 3 of my Illinois girls are included!
Pam/Digging said…
We had snow falling through sunshine for a few minutes on Friday, but it sure didn't amount to anything, unlike in your garden. I'm envious!
Anonymous said…
Cindy that was painful hearing you walk through the crunchy stuff and knowing some of the new tender growth was damaged. Only time will tell right? I'm so sorry for you. After reading some of your comments I see some of it is faring well.

I do like the new blog design. It freshened it up.
The snow was absolutely wonderful... Wish it would have lasted a lot longer.

That is just too weird. What's amazing is how much you still had blooming when the snow hit. Also amazing is the Houston-Chicago comparison! But it was nice for a change, right? Hopefully the mosquito population will subside a bit!
p.s. Try Wild Birds Unlimited or the Wild Bird Center for one of those feeder poles.
Gail said…
Cindy, I am here way after the snow event~~How did the garden do?...The videos were hard to watch, I just kept wanting to hug you! We had 22 degree weather and a Rosa 'Fairy Queen' and Rudbeckia triloba are still blooming gail
Kathy said…
We had more snow than that in October. I find it isn't the snow so much as the air temperature that hurts the plants.
I wish we would have gotten some snow that stuck instead of just the deadly freeze...I lost about 1/3 of my plants!
I'm so glad you got snow. We enjoy our snowfalls too when we get them, but for you, this was an event. Keep warm.~~Dee
Cindy, MCOK said…
Pam, it was a lovely experience, truly. I won't go so far as to say it made up for the high temperatures this summer but it did make them recede into memory just a bit.

FGG, the sound of shoes crunching on the snow is a novel one for us. I think next summer when the weather turns evil, I'll replay these videos and see if it cools me off.

HSD, it would have been nice if the snow stuck around, I agree.

Jean, there are a lot fewer blooms than there were pre-snow! This Bloom Day I may have more roses than anything else.

Gail, I just did a follow-up post today. The garden looks a lot worse than it actually is. I hope that continues to be the case!

Kathy, that frigid air does indeed take a real toll on the plants. It's been very educational to see how they respond.

Cheryl, I'm sorry you lost so many plants. I'm still surprised that Austin didn't get snow.

Dee, I thoroughly enjoyed my snow experience. If I had to do it on a regular basis, I'm sure it would lose its charm!