The temperature dropped 50 degrees overnight, from 80 to 30! Wow! Talk about a shock to your system! First time in 3 years, we are having a freeze in central Florida. Ice in the birdbaths, plants looking limp and unhappy, possibly expired, even, and a roaring fire in my fireplace. I never turn on the heat, my husband’s philosophy being “I have to pay big bucks to freeze all summer. I’d like to freeze for FREE in the winter!” But I do love a good fire. Cats and dogs are fighting for couch space nearby, and I’m cozy as I pack away the last of the Christmas decorations for another year.
Funnily enough, my best garden pal, Nicki, and I were planning to visit some local nurseries this weekend to get our winter annuals (violas, petunias, pansies, and some herbs), and maybe to look for a new rose or two. However, with a freeze last night, and another one predicted for tonight, it’s unlikely the nursery will have much on display Saturday. So we’ll postpone that for another time.
I hate to see my plants, what few have survived six months of neglect, freeze, but am I complaining? Oh, no. I’ve seen the images on the news, and I know what REAL cold weather looks like. We are SO lucky down here! Well…until hurricane season, of course. But then, no place is perfect!
Stay warm, my friends, wherever you are!
Thought I’d start the new year by sharing the occasional excerpt from my book, Wake-Robin Ridge, and possibly from the draft of my newest novel, Swamp Ghosts. So, here ya go. An excerpt from the Prologue of Wake-Robin Ridge. Enjoy!
..He found a spot behind some thick but low-growing bushes. It was a perfect place to hunker down and wait. In the gray light of early morning, he pulled out his favorite filleting knife and a small whetstone, spat on the stone, and began to slide the knife back and forth across the surface. Falling into a rhythm, eyes half closed, he continued to hone the knife, metal caressing stone again and again.
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Belinda’s Dream Is The Only Thing Blooming in My Yard Right Now
(Photo taken last spring)
Wooohooooo…the best thing about living in Florida is being able to garden all winter. The worst thing is NOT being able to garden all summer! (At least I can’t, that’s for sure.) I have a ton of clean-up still to do, due to having neglected my yard for over 6 months. What a mess! Everything that isn’t dead is leggy, scrawny, and in dire need of TLC. Part of my plan for 2014 includes gardening a certain number of hours every week, until it all looks good again. I miss my retreat!
What’s happening in your part of the country? Still buried under snow? Weather warming any? Or is the worst still ahead? We often get hard freezes in January & February that last a day or possibly two, but as long as I plant winter hardy annuals like pansies, violas, and petunias, they’ll make it through. I won’t set out anything too tropical until later in the spring.
Those of you who live in the still-frozen areas…are you planning your gardens yet? Making up lists of seeds or new plants? Diagramming your beds? Or do you wait for the weather to warm and wing it?