Frigid Blast

“Frigid Blast”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


24.6. That was our low temperature when 29 was the foretasted low. Now, I know that is not anywhere near what other areas of the country had as low temps, but when your average low for this week is 41 degrees, this is cold. Areas along the Gulf Coast are simply not used to these lows since we only get this frigid very occasionally. It was freezing by 7 o’clock last night, and it is still below 32 degrees at 10 a.m. , so this really ended up being a hard freeze for us with even lower temps predicted for the next few days.

I have covered a lot of plants and gathered together the tropicals in containers under heavy plastic and sheets, but I think I am going to have to put a light bulb under this makeshift tent to insure that those plants pull through the lower temperatures. I am also hoping that the sunshine today will warm up the tent which should also help keep them from getting too cold tonight.

It’s too early and cold to uncover anything to see how plants made out, but in the garden, a few uncovered plants told the story.



Every bird bath was frozen over, so I went out early to add more water since there were a few chickadees forlornly looking for water.

Firebush didn’t make it, though it rarely does even in a regular winter. It has returned from the roots every year, so since it has about ten inches of pine mulch at its base, I am hopeful that it will return in the spring.



The calla lilies were damaged, but some still look okay, but I am sure that tonight’s lows will end them. Again, these have a heavy mulching and will return in the spring though the blooming will probably be delayed.



Now, don’t think that everything has been nipped back by the cold. There is still a lot of green around. The kalanchoes planted out in the garden still look okay. It always surprises my how much cold weather these plants can take. You’d think they’d be mush at 32 degrees.



The ferns in the side garden look okay, too.



Many other plants look fine also including the walking iris, Mexican bush sage, and variegated shell ginger, but with more cold weather coming, I don’t know how many others are going to succumb to this unusual arctic blast in the nights to come.

Since this blog is my way of keeping a record of what happens in the garden, I sure hope there won’t be too many more posts cold damage. Even though I think most damaged plants in the garden will return from the roots, I am still holding my breath about the tropicals in containers. I sure wish this extra cold weather would move out of here faster.



  1. Janet said,

    January 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I will cross my fingers for you and your less than freezing hardy plants.

  2. Nell Jean said,

    January 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    We expect some freezing nights, but not so many in a row and such low temps. I stopped covering long ago. Plants are either hardy or they’re not. I do take cuttings as insurance of certain things like pentas and shrimp plant.

  3. SuzEq said,

    January 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I sure hope your favorite plants make it through this cold weather.

  4. Kate said,

    January 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Found you through blotanical and I’m glad I did! I have family in New Orleans and have spent quite a bit of time in your lovely area. I swear I didn’t giggle even a little bit when I saw your temp report (I live in an area where winter is the dominant season.) Because I love the Deep South’s fragrant, fragile flowers. I hope this cold snap doesn’t cause too much damage in your garden.

  5. donna said,

    January 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Your ferns look amazing, so green and healthy looking. Stay warm.


  6. Lana said,

    January 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I’m sorry for the problems our recent cold snap has caused to your garden. This weather is a major downer. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m glad I kept my rabbit-fur-lined, hunter’s, ear flap hat from my Canadian days… <:(

  7. Jake said,

    January 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I brought ferns like that from Florida with me, what kind are those?


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