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

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An herbalicious mess.

When I planted each of these less than 18 months ago, they were from cute little 4″ pots, or even smaller transplants of my own. I over-pruned the sage in the back this spring (oops…) which created room for the rosemary to expand (and DH rarely cooks with rosemary.) The Italian Oregano made SO many seeds last year, I could plant an acre or more, and it’s starting up again. Nevermind those lovely purple trumpets on the Mexican Oregano, they can stay as they keep the bees, butterflies, and other flyers happy.

The volunteer Texas Hummingbird Sage and Thai Basil are popping up in some far-away places! Here they are fighting the good fight against some more Henbit.

And those green onions I had in a jar on the kitchen counter? They’ve earned a pot – right next to my new watering can that I like maybe a little more than a sane person should.

The tops of the onions made it onto a burger for DH the other day. I’m curious to see how many more times it will re-grow.

Speaking of re-growing? This guy had co-existed peacefully with five seed trays for the last month.

Notice I said “had.” This morning I was awoken by DH, who was obviously unhappy. When I inquired what was the matter, he said he had some bad news. I automatically started running various grandparents through my mind and then he explained that the truce was broken and four of my seed trays were demolished by the charming-looking feline pictured above.

I worked quickly, plucking the wee sprouts from the piles of tossed earth and replanting them in a resurrected tray. The cat has been locked in the other room all day. We’ll see how I feel about letting him out tomorrow.

Fingers crossed that the baby cauliflower, broccoli, lettuces, and greens recover. So much for keeping track of varieties this year…