Tomorrow, Saturday, February 27th, is the Harris County Master Gardeners' annual Tomato-Pepper Sale. Official sale hours are 9 AM till 2 PM and I'm here to tell you that official hours don't mean diddly. If you're a Houston area gardener and you want to have ANY chance at all of getting the plants you want, put on some warm clothes, come early and be prepared to wait to get in and to pay. And when I say come early? Folks start lining up by 6:00 AM most years.
I was downtown working at the Chronicle today, adding entries to the Plant Database and drooling over one particular plant. I'm not that big a fan of Petunias but this new Supertunia from Proven Winners is positively psychedelic: take a look at Pretty Much Picasso. Rumor has it that one local grower has hanging baskets of these going out to area nurseries, including Another Place in Time on W. 11th Street in the Heights.
I was do determined to believe that spring is on its way, I convinced myself that the high winds we've had all day as a sign of spring. Never mind that the chill goes right through you, especially in the wind tunnels that are Houston's downtown streets. Even more especially if you left your jacket in the truck and had to walk back to the parking lot in short sleeves. As I drove home today, I had to keep both hands firmly planted on the steering wheel because poor FloraBob was rocking something fierce. Tonight the windchimes in back are ringing fairly steadily. I will be dressing warmly tomorrow: I've already laid out my silk thermals and plan to take a blanket to block the wind from our legs. It gets cold out there on the prairie when the wind's blowing. My determination to believe in spring took a nose dive as I was searching for a reference to NOAA's freeze occurrence data on Science Guy Eric Berger's blog. Ratfarts. There's another winter storm headed our way on Monday. We're going to get slapped around by Mother Nature again. And, yes, it really has been significantly colder this winter. Here's how Eric Berger put it:
Consider last year's February in Houston, when 21 of the month's 28 days had high temperatures of 70 degrees or above, and there was not one night of freezing temperatures. On three days temperatures topped out in the 80s.
Contrast that with this February, when we've had just one -- just one! -- day when temperatures reached 70 degrees. And so far there have been four freezes.
And speaking of the NOAA, I am not happy with them. Seriously, they have freeze occurrence data for towns as small as Flatonia and Danevang, but not for Katy???? I mean, come on. I protest this omission, and I am unanimous in that! The closest recording stations are Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston Hobby Airport and Sugar Land. All of those are a good 25 miles from Katy. I sat here the other day trying to figure out just what our actual probability dates were compared to theirs and I may even have come up with something that sounded reasonable to me at the time. I didn't write it down, though and it flitted, it floated, it fleetly fled, it flew ... right outta my brain. Hasta la vista, baby.
Blogger's being exceedingly weird for me tonight, refusing to save things properly, so I'll spare you any more of my ramblings and shut it down for the night. If you're at the Tomato-Pepper sale tomorrow, swing by the credit card booth and say hi. I should be able to spare a few seconds to return the favor!