Well, Old Man Winter has finally arrived in my part of Central Texas. The weather forecasters told us to expect freezing temperatures as low as 24 degrees and by golly, that is exactly what we got. It is all due to an arctic cold front blowing down from the Northern States which is how we get most of our freezing weather. What we needed when this continent was “born” was a tall mountain range that traversed from East to West and centered somewhere on the borders of Oklahoma to stop this stuff blowing in on us. Unfortunately there is nothing but flat land and nothing to prevent the fronts from blowing through. This is generally how we get most of the cold weather that makes up our so called Winter. We are due for two days of this and then it will warm up again and by Wednesday, it should be in the mid sixties which is pretty good for December.
I took a walk out in the gardens to check on things and as expected, the freeze has really done a number on the garden and pond plants, knocking nearly all of them down. It is going to take quite a bit of cleanup work to chop it all down and stack it on the compost heap. I got away with it last year as we didn’t get a single freeze and the stuff just kept on growing. By the time spring rolled in, the garden and pond plants were already several feet tall and they didn’t stop growing for the rest of the summer.
When the front blew in, it was accompanied by a strong wind which blew for several hours and managed to knock off many of the leaves which had already turned brown and were slow in falling. This was a good thing as with the leaves down and having to get in the ponds to cut down the plants, will give me the opportunity to clean out the leaves already gathered in the bottom. The Koi as cold blooded creatures, generally stop eating when the water gets down below 50 degrees and settle together in one big group at the lowest point of the pond, moving very occasionally but generally not swimming about. The ponds themselves have a lot of moving water as the pumps keep the water circulated and tend not to ice over.
Even though my garden was a green paradise prior to the frost, I see it as a natural order of things kind of an “Out with the old and in with the new” syndrome. One thing Mother Nature will always guarantee is that the majority if not all of the plants will re-grow come the warmer weather in the Spring which for us here in Texas will start at the end of February. I can’t wait for that to happen. Two days of winter is enough for me. I lived in New York State for 10 years and that was more winters than I ever wanted.