Before the spring freeze

Cornus florida 'Cherokee Chief' blooming in front of my house. You can see the burned edges on the laurels in front of it. We had such a cold and unforgiving winter.
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’ blooming in front of my house. You can see the burned edges on the laurels in front of it. We had such a cold and unforgiving winter.

Will it freeze tonight? In our house, we always say, “Is the Pope Catholic?” Yes, it’s going to freeze. Before the projected cold front robbed my garden of its spring grandeur, I took some pictures in the snow. I want to share the heartbreak that is often a prairie spring. Yes, you read that right. Snow. Confounded snow is falling outside my door and now even collecting slightly on the ground. What started out as small flakes are now large, white and fluffy. I am not amused.

The snow won’t stick because it was 88F yesterday. The ground is very warm, and that’s a good thing.

Light snow falls on the back garden in April with a projected hard freeze tonight.
Light snow falls on the back garden in April with a projected hard freeze tonight.

Everything is blooming or leafed out. Even my lilacs are blooming. We are supposed to get down to 26F tonight. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. Even though our last freeze date is April 20 or so, we don’t usually get into the 20s this late in the year. It will set everything back again, and I can hardly watch. Imagine no fruit on the apple, peach and cherry trees. No more lilacs and probably no peonies unless I get out there and try to cover everything. I’m tempted, but I may not. Summer will hold its own riches. I just hate to not see my peonies bloom.

Those little white dots you see are snow falling. It's now falling much harder.
Those little white dots you see are snow falling. It’s now falling much harder.

I wish the cloud cover would stay as an insulating blanket, but alas, it will not. We’ll have sunshine by this afternoon, and cold temperatures will come tomorrow. We can’t do anything about the weather so let’s enjoy what is blooming now. It’s all so very pretty.

Cercis canadensis 'JN2', The Rising Sun redbud always gets nipped by frost. I hope it doesn't completely freeze. It would then be forced to sprout even more new golden leaves.
Cercis canadensis ‘JN2’, The Rising Sun redbud always gets nipped by frost. I hope it doesn’t completely freeze. It would then be forced to sprout even more new golden leaves.

I don’t know about you, but I’m debating about whether to cover a few things. The Rising Sun™ redbud always gets hit by freezes and frosts, but it’s still managed to grow quite beautifully in the last couple of years. It does help to cover plants if the covers go all the way to the ground, but dang it!! I just don’t want to do it. Remember last year? We had a freeze as late as May 3 which is just crazy. I drove myself batty trying to get everything under some sort of cover, and then, half of them blew off. I was still finding five gallon buckets down by the pond last summer as I made my rounds. Cover or not to cover–that could be the question.

This photo of a native redbud up beside the chicken run and barn isn't one of my best because of the woodpile cover, but I wanted you to see how beautiful the redbuds are this year before the freeze.
This photo of a native redbud up beside the chicken run and barn isn’t one of my best because of the woodpile cover, but I wanted you to see how beautiful the redbuds are this year.

One note, by May 15, everything had recovered nicely whether I covered them or not.

While I ponder what I’m going to do, I’ll dodge the snow outside to clip a bunch of lilacs from my favorite bush. I’m bring them inside and enjoying them today, because, my dear friends, today is all we have anyway, and worrying about tomorrow just makes us sad.

Here’s hoping the weather is kind to your garden. I’ll let you know how mine does in a few days.

 

 

 

 

27 Replies to “Before the spring freeze”

  1. I had this post on my facebook page. “Oh what a lovely winter we are having in the middle of Spring.”

  2. We actually lucked out here. It snowed almost an inch, and the next morning was down in the 20’s. But everything was so late that I didn’t really have blossoms to worry about. I didn’t cover anything, and all is well. I think the only thing here in Columbus that was damaged was the blooming magnolias, and I don’t have any. I hope you fared as well.

  3. We also have the tug-o-war between Winter and Spring here. Spring always wins, but Winter seems to creep back all throughout our month of April. Not uncommon to wake up up to our landscape laden with snow. Thankfully Spring snow melts quickly and the plants seem to thrive in spite of it. I actually enjoy watching it all happen!

  4. IMG_0008.jpg
    We covered and it did not r
    Wally freeze. I am still glad my husband took the time to do this for me.

  5. Hopefully the news reports are right and the cold wasn’t bad enough to harm the plants and trees. Now we’re back to warm days and warmer days ahead. But then again, it is Oklahoma and we never know.

  6. Hello Dee,
    What a lovely garden you have. I always wonder if I should cover things or not, too. Usually I opt not to. Hope yours do okay.

  7. Oh my goodness, everything looks beautiful, Dee! I can certainly understand your frustration–we had snow last night, too, but at least the only things I have blooming at this point are tough survivors, like daffodils and hellebores. I hope everything recovers for you.

  8. Dee, my fingers are crossed for you. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as they are thinking. 34° is what they are saying here and I hope it sticks to that. The garden is looking better than it has in quite some time.

  9. So nicely put, Dee. No use worrying about tomorrow because it just makes us sad. I hope your garden pulled through OK. Wow, 88 to 26–now that’s a shift. We only went from 70 to 20, and I thought that was rough. And most of our plants weren’t blooming yet. Argh. I’m thinking about you today. Thanks for sharing your beautiful blooming photos. 🙂

  10. I just planted some tiny hostas and a couple hydrangea bushes. Do you think they’ll be damaged by frost? Luckily I haven’t put my flowers in yet….

    1. Heather, I would definitely get a bucket or large container and cover your hostas because you just planted them. The hydrangeas shouldn’t die, but if they have blooms, the blooms will freeze. I would cut them off and bring into the house. Then, you could cover them too.

    1. Thank you dear. Well, the cloud cover blew away so I’m expecting the worst. If it comes out better, then I’ll be a happy camper. I thought we might get through without more wintry weather, but alas, no. Oh well, they will recover.~~Dee

  11. We just came in from covering what we could, I want to cover everything but know that isn’t feasible. I’m not completely sure even the covers will help. Praying it doesn’t get down into the mid-20’s as predicted!

    1. LaDonna, I’ll probably head out in a bit and cover the peonies. I don’t want to lose those tree peony blooms. They are such classics. Okay, I’ll do that, but that’s it.

    1. Exactly! Enjoy what’s here today. I’ve got my clippers out to cut a bouquet of lilacs. My iris aren’t blooming yet, thank goodness.

  12. Even Austin is flirting with a possible freeze tonight, in low areas anyway. I think for most of us it’ll just get into the upper 30s or 40s. I am sorry for the missed blossoms you won’t see this year. We lost our beloved Texas mountain laurel blooms this spring (they smell just like grape Kool-aid) because of a late freeze.

  13. I refuse to get out there and try to cover all that stuff up. It’s on it’s own. I have seen grasshoppers already this spring. Maybe this cold snap will kill them all.
    Your garden would look good no matter what. Love your woodpile and blue cover.
    Looks like someone actually lives there. Send more pictures.

  14. I am sad about my fruit trees too. I brought everything in last night that I could, but I think for some of it there is no hope. The winds are rolling in. Sad sad day! 🙁

  15. I’m very sad about the temps tonight since my fruit trees already have lil fruits on em, we are gonna try the sprinkler trick & just hope it really works or at least save some of the fruit. Good luck with your!! 🙂

  16. At least the spring bulbs should keep blooming even with temps in the high 20s. I know because Chicago gets those kinds of spring freezes all the time. most of our bushes haven’t had the temerity to show buds yet…

    1. Susan, those are smart bushes. Ours held out a long time, but finally, they broke when the temps went into the 80s for days. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. I had this posted on my facebook page. “Oh what a lovely winter we are having in the middle of Spring.”

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