The ants have bloomed.

I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Deluge after deluge and then a pause. I could escape! The tomatoes need to come out as they stopped earning their keep weeks and weeks ago. 

I stepped into the garden and the ground was moving. My skin was on edge. There were multi lane freeways and block parties of ants in every bed, in every path, on every post. 

My husband had read about a new bait he’d been wanting to try: peanut butter and borax. He whipped up a batch and I set about with a spoon.

This was two weeks ago now. They nearly disappeared for a week. Today was round two. 

I think I’ll stick to a three day cycle to try and truly banish them for at least a little while. Between the ants, mosquitos, and poison oak, outside is a little more vicious this year than most.

But then there’s this …

My storm drain has never looked so nice.

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Before the freeze…

The ice (or snow, or both) that gripped so much of the country only gave a whisper of ice to those of us in Central Texas. Just the same, we had multiple nights in the 20s and a full 48 hours that didn’t rise above freezing. There were preparations to be done. The first of which? Capturing some final photos before the greenery melted and the flowers were zapped from their stems.

In came the African Blue Basil…
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Last year after the harvest, I left the roots in the soil in an attempt to maintain any microbial web they’d built in the soil. I was rewarded in the spring with a returning specimen. Fingers crossed for the same this spring…

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The rosemary in the background didn’t even shiver, but the butterfly weed has lost all vigor. Others I’ve pruned into the compost now that they’ve finished the cycle.

Texas Hummingbird Sage

Sage

Sage

Lantana

Snap dragon

Berries

The bees will surely miss the loss of so many winter blossoms. I will miss the bees until their return after a few sleepy months.

This one barely barely blinked with each passing freeze. I’ve forgotten its name – does anyone know?
Purple

Perhaps it will keep any wakeful bees busy enough until the reemergence of nectar pots…

And Bill the Lime Tree came inside, complete with two limes left to savor when the winter doldrums set in.
Bill