And The Big Chill of 2010, at least the early January edition, is behind us. The courtyard thermometer recorded a low of 33 degrees overnight but there was ice in the birdbaths and the pond. By mid-morning, it was in the high 40s and the sun was bright enough to make being outside quite pleasant. I puttered about the gardens for an hour or so, assessing the damage. I am sad to report that my Australian tree fern may not be long for this world. Although it's in the sheltered courtyard and I had covered it, it appears to be grievously offended by 4 nights of below freezing temperatures. I was also taken aback by just how many of the succulents in the courtyard had serious freeze damage, even though they were covered. Crown of Thorns is not as regal as it was: the points on its crown are now aimed towards the ground rather than the sky. But what's with the bromeliads? They look exactly the same as they did before!
I took notes on my walkabout Saturday about the effects of the cold on various botanical residents here at Wit's End. I hope to get back out there tomorrow to update my observations but not until the afternoon: in the morning, I have a date with Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, one of the most amazing nurseries in the U.S. OK, it's a date with Tony and who knows how many other devotees of his nursery and it's doubtful that I'll get any face time with him. That's OK, though: what I will get is his input on what to plant in the garden to replace the plants that went roots up thanks to the recent weather. "Hot Plants for Hot Climates" is the topic of his talk. I look forward to sharing his words of humor and wisdom.