Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The skies are clear and temperatures are falling like a brick.
The weather guy used the term 'plummeting'. 
Why do I have so many tropical plants?
Why do they ALL have to be so beautiful?
And why don't I live in Miami or Key West?
We all tempt our zones and push the limits.
In my case, it's life or the plants that is.
I've been studying weather and climate with my students for the past 12 weeks.
It's been fascinating.
For instance, here's a painting from Peter Bruegel from around 1550. Did you know that from around 1550 to 1850 most of Europe experienced a mini Ice Age?
It's reflected in many of the paintings of that era. 
Yes, I know it snows regularly in Europe, but during the aforementioned years it not only snowed, it SNOWED!
I also talked to the kids about the last ice age. It was difficult for them to imagine all of Canada buried in ice.
But what about Texas? What was going on here? It turns out WE had thousands of years of weather similar to Quebec or Manitoba. Everything shifted south thousands of miles and Texas was host to woolly mammoths and other cool animals.
We also had lots of spruce trees growing here 18,000 years ago.
I'm thinking a lot about cold weather because my garden is right on the FREEZE line tonight.
Talk about a nail biter. Everyone else is thinking about turkey and dressing and I'm thinking about green, mushy, frozen plants.
The latest wind map has some northerly winds moving the air around. That's good, because it means less chance of frost. 
There's also some high clouds in Mexico that could float by after midnight. This would keep the temperatures a few degrees higher. I can only hope!
In the meantime, I've brought in about 40 of my favorites, and packed my little garden shed with a couple of dozen more. 
I don't have my greenhouse ready this early in the season. I usually set it up the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving.
Oh well, pretending to be a tropical garden was fun while it lasted.
In closing, I do have a piece of really good news; one of my students donated a weather station to our classroom.
I'm babysitting it this weekend so I'll get to watch the carnage (or miracle) from a warm, cozy chair.
In the past, I had to run outside every few hours to view the thermometer. Brrrr.....
So, will I wake up to....
GREEN plants or BROWN plants? 
Tonight's weather will decide tomorrow's color scheme.
That's it for today. 
Have a
Happy Thanksgiving!
Stay warm and enjoy your holiday....and thanks for stopping by.

NEXT MORNING: The color is still GREEN...a large deck of clouds came across from Mexico just after midnight and lasted most of the night. We landed on a low of 34.1 here at the garden and in the center of the city.
:0) Now I can get that greenhouse filled with GREEN plants.
P.S. I like our local weather service...someone has a nice sense of humor. (Read below) LOL



  1. Oh, no! I hope your plants survive! My parents woke up to snow in Georgia today, while here in Massachusetts it was fairly warm, but torrentially rainy. Crazy weather!
    That is so fascinating about how different the weather used to be in different places. Doesn't it feel like we are experiencing some sort of weather shift going on again?

  2. I hope it's not too bad and your plants survive.

  3. That weather station will come in handy! Hopefully it won't turn out as bad as predicted. And yes, carry on pushing the boundaries of hardiness, it is fun!

  4. When I heard Houston might freeze, I thought of you! A bad freeze a couple of years ago made me try to stick to my hardiness zone and not push the limit too much. I'm so glad that your plants ended up safe and not freezing and turning to mush. Volcanoes spewing when the earth was young, ice ages and mini ice ages - the weather is something that is constantly changing!

  5. Gardening can be tricky here. I moved all my tropicals in while it was raining. But never mind, the weather will be changing soon!

  6. I'm glad the weather gave you respite to get your greenhouse ready. Your climate history was interesting. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, David!

  7. I did my 12 years in Quebec and I don't expect to see such things in Texas!

  8. Oh dear, I hope it wasn't too bad.

  9. How did everything turn out, David, or is it still too early to tell with the continuing cold weather pattern? Many gardeners in Austin are anxiously biting their nails this week, as we got down to 24F two nights in a row and will see more 20s this week.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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