Yesterday, the sun finally decided to come out. It was the first time I felt sunshine in almost two weeks. The frozen river is thawing, icicles are melting, and life in the garden will soon be back to normal….but in Texas, normal is anything BUT normal. It is rumored to be in the 80’s next week. Oh, come on!!! Give our gardens a break!!! Our poor Spring flower bulbs don’t know if it’s Winter or Summer. Atleast, for today, it feels like Spring. The great thaw has begun.
I did a little garden-walk survey while I let the chickens and ducks out of their warm, chicken coop jail. I was completely delighted to find very little damage in the gardens. We still have snow, but a lot of the ice is melting.. The origjnal layer of sleet acted as insolation to the earth, and protected all of the heirloom bulbs and plants from the harsh temperatures. Southern Heirloom Bulbs are tough, but they really don’t like to be frozen. There is still snow covering the Dwarf Crinum, so I haven’t seen any signs of life yet. The Lady Tulips were completely frozen and the foliage was greatly damaged. I fear no Spring bloom, which is very disappointing. The little Lady Tulips suffered the most after the flood relocation. It has been two years since the mass bulb exodus, and this year was going to be their first real bloom…..Boo.
A bulb’s foliage is necessary for next year’s flower. The foliage is energy and nutrients that will go back into the bulb, which stores it up for the bloom. Aren’t flower bulbs amazing?? Even though the foliage looks ratty, frozen, mushy, unsightly and downright awful….leave it alone. I repeat….LEAVE THE FOLIAGE ALONE. Walk away from the pruning shears or the scissors. It is better to cut bangs (like I did) than to prematurely cut back bulb foliage. The bulb will take in the damaged foliage as it dries. Just allow nature to do it’s thing. When the foliage is dry and crispy, it can be cut back.
I am also extremely happy to report that thd Pink Spider Lilies, that I had received from a dear friend, are happily growing and doing quite well. I am so surprised at the amount of foliage they already have. It seems like just yesterday, there was no evidence of Pink Spider Lily life…..now, I have 3 inches of beautiful greenery.
I *might* move all the potted plants back outside today, for a little dose of vitamin D. No one likes being stuck inside on a beautiful Spring day, especially plants. I am looking forward to doing a little digging today, if the temperature gets above 40 degrees. If not, I will be happily walking through the gardens, and dreaming about what plant I need to add to the garden chaos I call my garden. 🙂
Happy Thaw Day. Who would’ve ever thought that Texas, of all places, would be covered in snow and ice for an entire week….and that every single gardener in the state would be as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning when the sun came back out?! I hope your gardens sustained minimal damage from the deep freeze. If you lost any flower bulbs, I’d be happy to share some of mine. I will be having to 4th Annual Heirloom Bulb Give-Away in April. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Happy Gardening, my friends!