It was the day before (February 14) our last projected frost date (for zone 9) when the weather forecasters began proclaiming their "freeze watch" warnings at every newscast. Some Arctic air was expected to dip low into the region during the wee hours of the morning. Along with a full moon and a sky as clear as a newly cleaned window, the news was not good for gardeners.
Like the neighbors, I began throwing blankets over freeze-prone plants for added warmth and hauling in the orchids. It never fails - at least one night every winter there is a cold night that dips down to around 32 degrees and lightly toasts our tender tropical plants in this sub-tropical region.
Our temps on the back porch stood right at 32 degrees the next morning. When I peered out the window the grass covered in white frost was an unusual and not completely welcome sight. I always envision my angel trumpet and hibiscus plants shivering right down to their roots, and I sympathize with them since I too am a sissy when it comes to cold weather.
The good news is that the temperatures soon began to rise as the sun beamed its warm glow toward earth. As I returned home from dropping my daughter off at school I had to smile at the melted frost dripping off the palm fronds. A quick trip around the yard revealed that most plants were spared from damage. The top of my angel trumpet was mushy and a few impatiens were slightly droopy. The staghorns and bromeliads were safe under the protective covering of the oak trees.