And quickly! Tuesday was sunny and breezy. The wind from the north foretold of the freeze coming but we were expecting 28, maybe 25 at most. But the cold dropped way down. We had bought propane and set up the heaters in the greenhouse but didn’t turn them on. Fortunately G woke around 4am and it was 22 degrees. He knows he needs to run the propane heaters when it gets below 25 so he did a quick dash out. It had gotten down to 48 in the tropical greenhouse and 33 in the cool hoophouse. Once the propane is running it gets up to normally 58 overnight in the tropical house. That is a little low for the nepenthes and orchids but they will take it. By 6am it dropped to 20 degrees outside.
We are always amazed at right after the freeze. The plants still look okay from a distance. After another freezing night, then you see the collapse. Wednesday night (last night) it got to 20 degrees again. Both days were crystal clear but not much wind after Tuesday. Even on Tuesday, we weren’t affected by the wind. Snohomish PUD cleared out a lot of the trees by the power lines in our area and we rarely lose power.
And today you can definitely see the damage. All the tender broad leaf plants are blackening up. The salvias look like they have had a blow torch taken to them. The backyard which is on the north side is almost fully in the shadow of the house and the ground is frozen hard. Driving around today in Edmonds, the one plant that was hardest hit were the hydrangeas.
Fortunately, we had gotten ready for the cold and last week G put all the tropical potted plants ‘to bed’ in the garage. We store our brugmansias, ginger, Abutilons and fuchsias in the garage. The garage is much drier than the cool hoop house and it is easier to control botrytis. We move them in and let them go dormant by not watering them. We keep the leaves cleaned up and run a fan. One year we kept them in the cool hoop house and the botrytis almost killed the brugmansias. Just too wet.
There will be some clean up in the next few weeks and maybe some mulching. Time now for the garden to sleep.
Some Before and After; Basjoo Banana, Erythrina bidwillii and Salvia guaranitica
Some further scenes from around the yard.