Yesterday the weather was looking ominous. A bitter wind blew out of the north. Dire predictions were made of freezing temperatures and horticultural mayhem.
I moved potted plants into the garage and wrapped new palms in sheets last night, went inside and hoped for the best.
This morning, I checked the low temperature recorded at the nearest weather station. It was 44 degrees Fahrenheit, 12 degrees shy of freezing. Granted, I am relatively close to the moderating influence of the Gulfstream. Nearby cities matched record lows from the 1950’s (34 and 36), it went below freezing in Vero Beach. Forty degrees is usually front page news in South Florida. It was in fact on the front page. At my house, the damage thus far, slightly burned Basil. I moved the Basil closer to the wall thinking it would keep it warmer, but it seems to have burned it.
The supertropical Heliconias nearby have survived unscathed.
I think the wind probably damaged the Basil, the Heliconia is in a niche to avoid the wind. I had left the older foliage around the outside to provide insulation. I hope it doesn’t turn black tonight!
After seeing about the plants this morning, I went shopping at the WalMart. A gigantic low end retailer with great prices. The actual disaster from this cold snap was fashion. People tend to move down to Florida and bring whatever they bought 30, 40 or 50 years ago for cold weather gear and they drag it out for the rare event when it gets cold. I saw some men wearing Sears Roebuck Tobacco Brown Corduroy jackets my brothers had in the 60s. With faux lamb collars. Ay,yi,yi and genuine Members Only jackets in the original 1970’s colors .(Sky Blue with a sweatshirt under) The women just piled sweatshirts over their tropical gear or retrieved festively colored 1990’s vintage wind suits from the back of the closet.
I wasn’t really that cold.