Sunday, December 31, 2017

buh-bye


This last day of 2017 I went out and gathered up all the monarch caterpillars I could find on the milkweed plus stripped off handfuls of leaves and brought them in and set them up in jars because the first five days of 2018 are going to be frozen with most hours below freezing, turn the water off at the meter freezing.



So, the banana trees will freeze down to the ground as will the rangoon creeper and the purple orchid tree too so no blooms on it this spring. Yesterday I covered the hibiscus, the gardenias, the angel trumpets, the ponytail palm, the jasmine, and the satsuma with blankets and plastic or tarps, covered a few smaller things with buckets. The day before I brought in all the small and the last few big pots.

Not how I want to start out the new year.

I also gathered all the green tomatoes since they definitely won't survive. I put the biggest ones in the windowsill to see if they will ripen but most the others will go to Rocky and Melissa down the street.


On the upside, the local peach orchard ought to have a good harvest this year.

A few last pictures...

We've been dog sitting my sister's dog since before Christmas and Minnie has been making full use of Morgan's bed, blanket, and pillow while Morgan has taken over Minnie's spot on the couch.


The grass at sunset one evening


and this





16 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Ellen. I hope 2018 treats you with kindness and love. <3

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    1. thanks Hilary. I wish the same for you.

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  2. What a grand night. I'm beginning to feel it's a comfortable old world. Love and light to the new year.

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  3. Same here for with the cold, Ellen. Oh, how I dread it. I fear I am going to lose some plants because I've brought in literally all I have room for and the rest may well freeze under blankets, even on the porch.
    I guess that dogs are like children in that they want what they usually don't have and it's a treat for them to sleep and be cozy on each other's spots.
    I can only imagine that you, like me, may well already be in bed and asleep by midnight. I believe I will wish us all peace this year because if we have that, it will mean a great deal. We have enjoyed very little of it in 2017.
    So. Peace. And I'll throw in some love.
    Mary

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    1. yes, peace and love to us all, Mary. the plumerias except for two are in the garage along with the other big things, just no more room in the house (and some just too big now for the house) so fingers crossed for those.

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  4. No winter for you according to the opinions of those of us where the temps are in the 20s F. But thank you for saving the butterflies! May your New Year be filled with great art.

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    1. I know, I'm a winter wimp. The lows for the next 5 days range from 25˚ to 29˚, up in the 30s during the day. my tropicals can weather a quick dip but I may lose some with these extended hours and days even though they are covered.

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  5. I had no idea you could do that with the butterflies. I hope many, many things in your little paradise garden survive, it's been such a joy to see than all this year. You are a gardener par excellence.
    Happy New Year to you, Ellen. I will definitely look forward to another year of your posts. Really, I love to read you!

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  6. My store is filled with all the plants that won't survive without my help. It is bitterly cold here and I have lost my voice to coughing for the pat three days. But ..... here's hoping for big changes this coming year!!

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  7. Bravo for saving the monarchs! I hope your plants pull through the freeze. That's a lot of time to be so cold!

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  8. You certainly deserve a good year to come. Hope it is a great one.

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  9. You are such a dedicated gardener. I hope all survive the freeze. Here in NM, I have the opposite problem. It is too warm and my turtles have come back out of hibernation, as have all of the plants getting ready to bloom. In two weeks there is to come very cold weather. My babies will need to over winter in the garage in tubs and tanks. The little ones won't survive, doubt they would "know" to go back to sleep. Sigh....the weather is crap.

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  10. I love that you saved the monarchs!

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  11. Oh dear. I didn't cover any of my fruit trees and now I think I should have (satsuma, lemon, grapefruit, avocado, dwarf peach). We had lots of freezes in Atlanta that didn't bother our jasmine or gardenias at all--some years they were covered in ice for days at a time. And I didn't think of caterpillars. I wonder if we even had any. I'm more worried about my bees right now as it's too cold to check on them.

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    1. your fruit trees should be OK, well, maybe not the avocado. my satsuma is a hybrid that is supposed to be good down to 20˚but it is a young tree and I've been told to protect it the first three years until it get established. you might lose the fruit on your lemon and grapefruit if you haven't harvested it yet but the trees should be fine. I can't remember which jasmine this is, it's a vine with small white flowers with pink throats that blooms in the spring. last year we had one night that dipped down to 20˚ and froze it to the ground. it came back but I covered it this time to hopefully have some flowers in the spring. we'll see how well it worked in a few days when it warms up. and my gardenias too last year. didn't cover them and the foliage froze and while they did eventually come back out they were slow growing and didn't bloom.

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