Thursday, December 12, 2013

Frozen, Part 1

Everything is still unthawing from the huge arctic freeze last week but the good news is everything is looking mostly ok.  Temperatures stayed below freezing for most of the week, with nighttime lows plummeting down to a pipe-bursting 10 degrees F (-12C). 

The sign of a true arctic freeze is when I can walk on the pond - something that hasn't happened in three years.  The fish are as happy as clams under that thick layer of ice.

In the front, here is the progression of ice forming on the fountain:

This fountain has become a useful gauge in helping to determine the severity of an arctic outbreak.  By comparing how much ice forms on the fountain to previous years, I have a sort of quantifiable analytical insight into the severity of each outbreak that mere low temperatures fall short of providing.  Having said that, I now realize it's not perfect.  As you can see, more ice formed this time than Nov. 2010, yet Nov 2010 killed way more plants.  At the very least, I find the mental imagery it provides useful.

December 2013
January 2013
January 2012
November 2010
Ok, on to the plants.  The plants I mention here are, for the most part, in that questionable zone between hardy and not hardy.  For the sake of simplicity, I'll rate how they fared on a scale of 1-7:

1 = Dead
2 = Severely damaged and may never fully recover
3 = Severely damaged but will probably fully recover eventually
4 = Severely damaged but will probably fully recover in less than a year
5 = Moderate cosmetic (e.g. leaf) damage but no known structural damage
6 = Minor leaf/flower damage
7 = No damage

I also note whether I took any protective measures for each plant and if so, what they were specifically.

Unprotected Echium fastuosum = 1 (Dead)
Protected Jubaea chilensis = 7 (No damage, protected with Christmas lights and covered with a blanket)
Unprotected Camellia sasanqua 'Apple Blossom' = 6 (Flowers froze, foliage is ok)
Protected Hebe 'Turkish Delight' = 7 (No damage; covered with a blanket)
Unprotected Edgeworthia chrysantha = 7 (Flower buds still seem to be in-tact)
Unprotected Cornus capitata = 2 (This has mostly dead written all over it)
Unprotected Eucalyptus dalrympleana = 5
Unprotected Asplenium scolopendrium (left) = 6 & Aspidistra elatior (right) = 7
 To be continued very soon...


  1. Thank you for the report and I look forward to future updates (will there be more plants or just more info on these plants?). So far it looks like you fared pretty well, yay!

    1. It is nice to see how well everything did. I guess this was a "nice" hard frost, if that is possible :)