Monday, February 22, 2021

Damage In The Garden From Uri

Hi, Friends,
The weather has warmed up. 
My family, friends, and acquaintances have all had their power restored. There are no more black outs and the water is safe to drink. We are allowed to do laundry again. Pipe repair still continues for many people. The grocery stores are restocking. Life is returning to normal. We're waiting on the plumber for a clogged drain.  My new phone arrived today so Siri will no longer be talking to me in the middle of the night. 
It's going to be 76˚ tomorrow. 

 I've been able to take a walk about both yards and look at the damage from the storm. 
Here are some pictures. This will help me document what happened and how the recovery goes. 
If this ever happens again, maybe I'll know what to expect. 

The house in town: 

Our dwarf nandinas are a gorgeous red. The leaves on the rose don't look dead but they look strange. 
I'm not sure if they will fall off or not. 

Before the storm, I watered everything. I covered the beds with blankets. On Monday the 8th, the high was 66˚ the low was 35˚. The next day the high was 35˚ the low was 28˚. The temperature was below freezing for 10 days. The highs and lows were both lower than predicted. 
We got 6ish inches of snow with the first wave. During the first wave the temps dropped into the twenties at night. It was during the second wave that the temperature dropped to record or near record levels. It was 2˚ one night. The next night it was -1˚. We got a little more snow with the second wave. 
It has never been that cold since I've been in Texas. My mother in law may have seen it but she doesn't remember it ever being that cold. 

This is a sampling of what I found when the snow melted and we took off the blankets. 

Tulips weren't there before. 

Hello, Pansy. 

The bed below looks bedraggled but I think it will bounce back. There was angelonia in here. I don't know if it will come back or not. Snapdragons have had some die back but I don't think they are dead.
The little oxalis is going to be fine. It is tried and true. The monkey grass looked terrible during the storm but it looks okay now. 

A fern left in the ground had severe die back but there is still green underneath. 

My ferns, begonias, angel wing begonias, kalanchoes spent the winter in the green house with no problem. The first year I had the greenhouse, I lost everything in it when it got down to 8˚. Even with a heater, I didn't trust it this time, so all of it was moved inside or into the garage. Before the storm, I put pots of pansies in the green house and covered them with a blanket. They did great and they will be fine with sunshine and water. 

My azalea looks fine. 

Hopefully, my tradescantia pallida will come back from the root. 

My nandinas have some yellow leaves. I think these were the most recent growth this winter. 
My wax leaf ligustrums look frozen. They were about 20 years old and they were beautiful. I think they are goners. My pittosporum looks odd. I'm not sure what's up with it, 

I brought all of my statues inside so they wouldn't get damaged. It was one less thing to worry about. 
The bigger urns and fountains were left out and they seem to be okay.  They don't have cracks that I can see. 

My plants in that garage were covered with blankets. This spider plant was in a cart and was near the garage door. It suffered die back but it should be okay. 


Now for the yard in East Texas:

My blueberry juniper sustained severe damage during an ice storm that came with the first wave. 
They had ice, snow, and then more snow. They may have even had freezing fog. 
Their low was supposed to be -2˚ but I can't verify that. 

Bill went out after the ice storm to put a light on the well, saw the damage and sent me pictures. 
The pictures do not convey the magnitude of the damage. I took the pictures below when I got there. 

The far north east corner has the limbs sheered off. It was like the top limb broke and took down everything underneath it. These are so large that Bill couldn't pull the limbs away from the tree. We'll need to chain the limbs to the truck and pull them away so that he can chop them up with the chainsaw. The wood is beautiful so he'll make something from the wood. 

First let me say that we are very blessed to have been spared power outages, water mains bursting, etc but if you have been following our journey, you may recall that there was very little that I liked about this house. That tree was the first thing to capture my heart. I loved the vista with that tree in it. 
I'd just stare at it.
I was going to plant one in our yard here in town but it was the wrong time of year. By the fall, the correct time to plant, we had already bought this house. 
 I'm not letting him chop it down. It will probably never look the same and I'm not sure if that side can ever recover but we'll get used to how it looks. It might be a little lopsided for the remainder of its days. 
In the grand scheme of all that people suffered, it is a little thing. 
We have a smaller one at the front of the property and it was damaged too. 
I've since come to love many things about this house and property so these losses are small but still sad.  

I was also excited about my gardenia out there. It had already leafed out for spring. It's very crispy. 

There is some green near the base so I'll wait and see what happens. 

The daft daffodils got zapped. My gardening expert thought that any stems about 3 or 4 inches high should be fine under the snow. That is what they were when we were there on the 7th. They continued to shoot up in the warm days proceeding Uri so many of them were about to bloom. It seems like nature should have sent them warning signals. They will forever be known as the daft daffodils as far as I am concerned. I will love them anyway. 

I removed drop cloths from the front beds and the plants look bedraggled but that is about it. 

I've jumped on a Facebook plant group. Many people lost all their tropicals and seed starts in their green houses. Many of them shared stories of the loss of their rare plants. 
I feel very blessed that I've had so little damage. 
I think that the blanket of snow before the -1˚ saved most of it. 
Snow is beautiful but these low temps were like nothing we have seen. 
Nature is resilient. So much will come back. I know that I would like to trim down what I would like to save going forward. I realized that if our electricity had gone out, it all would have been lost. I would have saved the plant from my brother's funeral and a kalancho from a student. They would have been by the fire with Bill and I. 
That is all for now. I'll keep you updated on how things recover. 
Thanks for all of your kind wishes for our state. I know we weren't the only ones to get hit by this storm. 
I hope they are all well and recovering too. 
Thanks for stopping by. 


  1. So glad you didn't have severe damage to your properties. I'm surprised so much of it has survived since it had already had growth spurts. Thank goodness we have had cold temps consistently so there wasn't new growth on anything, and I'm hoping nothing was lost. Those sweet little tulips are real champs to be bursting out underneath the blanket and snow. Gives us all hope. Nature is resilient and such a blessed reminder of God's goodness and promises.

  2. I'm so sorry about your big tree, Katie. I have a passion for trees, and I hate to see them come down so I'm glad you will try to save the rest of it. I think you are right -- you will grow adjusted in time. And plants are profoundly resilient. Your blooms may have been up enough that the daffs and tulips may or may not come back -- having the blanket was inspired. We do that up here a lot in transition seasons but it's sort of in our bones to do it by now. Some things may need to be cut back so the energy goes into the new growth -- you'll know soon enough, now that it is warming up. But I think you might be in better shape. And even if it doesn't seem to come back in full this year, cut it back and don't tear out (or put in your greenhouse if you do and nurture). It might be fine in time. Good luck.

  3. I think thinks will do better than you expect, even the tree. I'm betting the daffodils will be fine, I have some lovely photos of mine blooming with the snow around them, they are hardier than they look. With hope and love from the state of Wisconsin, where these things happen. OFTEN... (But we can't grow tropicals.)

  4. Hi Katie. Sounds like you were pretty lucky in the whole scheme of things. The news casts were brutal. I hope everyone in Texas and beyond are going to be OK. Wow, what is 2021 stacking up to be? Pansies are such strong beautiful little plants..Stay well..xxoJudy

  5. Sounds like you did everything right by watering and covering before the freeze so I am sure they will all be ok. I am glad to hear things are going back to normal for all of you. We are getting a warm up finally here in Illinois which feels great. Have a good week. xoxo