Friday, February 26, 2010


OK,  You folks further north can chuckle and say "that's not snow!".  But in Austin, we rarely see the white stuff, let alone, have it stick, even for one day.  Our gardens take on an entirely new perspective.   The way I look at it, if it's going to get cold, might as well snow and add some winter beauty to our bleak winter landscape.  Well, we got our wish!! One to two inches of snow fell in NW Austin on February 23rd,  just 60 days too late for a white Christmas.   As a gardener, sick of one of the colder than normal winters we have had in some time,  I didn't worry about the health of the plants that were being draped in the white royal decor from the sky, as snow actually makes a good insulator and protects plants from a night of freezing temperatures that followed.  I just went from window to window with camera in hand trying to capture this moment for posterity as we probably won't see anything like it again for quite a while.  This first picture shows the huge, wet flakes falling on our cacti and succulent garden.

Taking a closer look, the agaves and barrel cactus seem enjoy their new adornment.

Looking even closer, the head of the barrel cactus seems to be showing it's age - with a crown of white hair!

The hardy palms seem to catch their share of the snowflakes

The silver Texas Sage takes on a new white appearance along with the Yuccas

The Cycad in front (Ceratozamia hildae) loves the cold into the teens, so a little snow doesn't phase it.
The palm near the deck is Rhiphytophyllum histrix (Needle Palm) - the most cold hardy of all palms.

But the details are most impressive - yaupon holly berries peeping through the crystalized snowflakes

The Germander remained unphased during below 20 degree temps and flowered, so why should a little show bother it.  This is a great evergreen shrub for winter in central Texas

But the biggest surprise is the Gerbera Daisy - blooming while snow covered.
This plant is much tougher than given credit for.

So there,  even a winter garden in central Texas can be beautiful, especially when adorned with a blanket of white.

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