Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tonight's the Night

. . . Of the first hard freeze--or so they say.

Of all the places in Central Missouri, our house and yard seem to be the least likely to experience predicted frost and freezes, because we're on a hill, and cold air doesn't settle in here like it does in the hollows. Plus we're in town and have lots of asphalt and concrete to warm the place up.

But do you really want to take chances where they're talking "freeze"? We have the blue-ribbon elephant ears to think about, and they might be older than I am. And then there are the hibiscus. And the big scheffleras, and the brugmansias, the philodendrons, aloes, orchids, begonias, dracaenas, and more.

God, we have too many plants. (Anyone want some? Free to a good home . . .)

Some years, we're smart about it, and we set aside a weekend, in early or middle October, to move the plants. That way, we're not out there the day right before the freeze-night, all in a rush.

One year, we didn't start digging up the elephant ears until after dark, when it was already starting to get quite cold, and the ground was wet. I'd already taken my lenses out and was wearing my hated glasses, which were steaming up and slipping down my face as I was sweating.

Wow, did that suck! It was definitely a "10" on the cussometer.

You would think we would have learned our lesson, right? I mean, for the love of God, please, let's get it done before we have to.

Well, today we "had to." And no, it was not convenient for us, not at all.

True, it wasn't raining (hooray!) or snowing (hooray!), and the ground wasn't soggy (hooray!)--but we both have head colds. Yep. We both started feeling crappy at about the same time yesterday afternoon, and we're still in that horrible "coming down with it" stage. All day today we've been sinking.

You know what it's like when you're just at the beginning of the cold. Stuffy, puffy, painful. That sense of "Oh, no." We've both had sinus headaches all day. I honestly feel like shit. But the show must go on, right? Save the plants!

Dad was our hero--I'm almost ashamed to admit it--he came over and did all the digging, and he helped us with the lifting, while we moved plants, carting them from the backyard to the garage, and scratched our heads and tried to figure out where everything was going to go. At least for tonight.

We seriously have too many plants.

Seriously: Want some?

So I was at it all day, pretty much--I took a "break" in midafternoon to buy cold remedies, orange juice, and tissues. It should have felt like a break, but instead it felt like a huge amount of work, even just to change temporarily out of my dirty gardening duds and into something presentable enough for K-Mart.

There is a good chance we'll wake up tomorrow and find absolutely no sign of frost or freeze--that has happened before--I'm not kidding about this yard having a relatively warm microclimate.

But as I explained in my previous post, I tend to err on the side of caution these days. Taking chances can lead to regret.

So by now it's all done--well, mostly. There are a few plants that we left outside--a little schefflera and a little philodendron that we're sick of moving in and out. Sorry, plants--nice knowin' ya.

And the "chatter" roses are blooming quite profusely now--I usually cut them so we can enjoy the clusters of flowers indoors, instead of them getting socked by the freeze. But eh: pretty as they are, I don't think I could smell them now, anyway.


Dj said...

If it's any consolation, my daughter was sent outside earlier to bring in the hibiscus. Hubby would love too share plants with you!

P.S. - I found your blog via Christine. My daughter is a sophomore at CLHS.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Hi, DJ, good to meet you! So you only have some *hibiscus* to bring in? How'd you like a couple of enormous schlefferas? They really do look pretty awesome, indoors or out. (--If you have room for them, that is!)


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