freeze-damaged duranta
2008-01-22. After a hard freeze the duranta is a fountain of forlorn brown leaves and my neighbor’s lantana looks like dry brush.

January 23rd, 2008
Welcome Cold and Dreary

January can be Austin’s bleakest months and 2008 has been a good example of that. We’ve had gray skies and drizzle, temperatures hovering in the 40s. And last weekend downtown got our first solid freeze. Temperatures fell to the 25F/-3.5C on Sunday morning effectively killing back all those summer plants which were still flowering on the last GBBD. At last!

I’d covered up the strawberries and brought the potted plants back inside. The winter hardy annuals (sweet peas, violas, pinks, and sweet alyssum) weren’t bothered. But a lot of plants, like the duranta and the podranea are finally gone and I’m not really sorry. Now I can clear them back with abandon.

I feel a sense of relief when I look out at the brown, uninviting landscape and think, “Oh good. It’s too miserable to be out there today.” Actually, I welcome the opportunity to work on some indoor projects guilt-free. The garden is demanding and never satisfied.

This week I’m going to turn my back on it, build a fire, and ponder this pile of seed catalogs.