>Winter has the last laugh…

>I laughed as I read my early bloom day post, bragging about 72 degrees. The thermometer now reads a scorching…ummm, 31 degrees. A cold front blew in overnight. We woke up to 40 degrees this morning and that was the high all day. It just kept on dropping. My tomatoes are once again covered to see if I can take them through one more freeze and get a few more off the vine later in the week.

Both my flowers and my kids are confused by the weather. The kids don’t know what wardrobe they should be wearing and the flowers aren’t sure what season it is.

>December Bloom Day

As I type this, it is a beautiful 72 degree day. Very windy, but we have totally recovered from the cold spell we got earlier in the week. Christmas decorations are up and the yaupon hollys seem to have gotten in the spirit by adding their own red decorations.

I see my gerbera daisy is trying to get in on the act by still sending up flowers. The garden is still going strong, with color everywhere except in beds where I have been reorganizing and have had to cut plants back for transplanting.

I have finally gotten a chance to see the bloom on my rosebud salvia. The plant foliage was gorgeous all summer long, but not one bloom. And then look what showed up in December!

Bush Daisy (Euryops) are still covered in yellow flowers. These are such a delight in my garden and deer resistant so I have planted them in the other garden outside the fence as well. Mexican Bush Sage is nearby, blooming all the way through summer and winter. In fact, you can see the new growth beginning at the bottom before the old flowers are gone. I’ll probably cut it back after the next freeze.

Hope all is well in your garden and that you are enjoying at least alittle bit of the sunshine we seem to be getting. Someone better tell Santa to dress down when he visits Texas, it may be a little warm!

>Tomatoes you should meet

>Well, it’s been a crazy weather week here in Austin, with 2-3 freezes depending on where in the city you reside. These were the frst of the season for my garden. Understand, last week we were still up in the 80s, so I still have a strong fall veggie garden going on. In fact, I would say I have about 5- tomatoes still on the vine, at a fairly large size. So when I heard the freeze was coming, I wanted to do anything I could to give those tomatoes a cozy place to hide during the ice and then come back out and keep on ripening. So I hefted out all of the blankets that I use for gardening from the attic and wrapped everything up tight.

I uncovered them this morning as the temps are up in the 60s today and we should not have anymore freezing until possibly next week. So I want these babies to have some sunshine and keep on going. C’mon honeys, just a little flash of red is all I need to see to pick you!

I am not exaggerating about watching these babies like a hawk. I love fresh tomatoes and don’t want this season to end. In fact, there are a few lovelies out there that I have been watching so closely that I have named them…let me introduce them to you.

Big Bertha is my top contender for next to ripen

I call these ladies the Pole Dancers…no tipping allowed

Here’s Mama Mia, one of my Brandywines on the trellis. She wins my If-I-Could-Only-Have-One-Tomato-Ripen award.

Oh and look, here are The Twins. They have a lot of grape tomato pals that they like to hang around with.

And finally, the Ladies’ Tea Group. These girls just love to gab and cluster together. Probably gossiping about all of the other tomatoes around them and who has the prettiest sheen to their skin. I’m hoping they will inspire each other to ripen so as not to be left behind by the group.
So there they are, my little veggie brood. Keep your fingers crossed that I begin to see a little blush to their skin so I can bring them indoors to ripen and eat, thinking of warm weather with every bite!