Six on Saturday – Recovering for the New Year

I did not post last week as, for the first time in my blogging history, it was too cold to go outside. Most of Florida experienced the coldest Christmas in 30 years. On the Treasure Coast we had temperatures in the mid 30s (close to 0 C) with a cold north wind coming off the Atlantic. Ordinarily our average low is 40 F (4.4 C).

Above is a Mammey Croton, these are notoriously cold sensitive and true to form, it is dropping leaves. Advice on this is to leave it alone and they will grow back with warmer weather. It had not occurred to me to cover it. The orchids I thought about covering, but didn’t are fine as is another Croton. This one may get a bit more wind.

Below is Miss Alice Bougainvillea, burned by the cold, and currently ‘snowing’ white bracts. This is already coming back nicely.

I am fortunate to have gotten off to a late start on planting seeds. Earlier in December, I planted tomatoes, peppers, basil, sunflowers, papayas, Chinese forget me nots and a few types of zinnias. The plants were just getting big enough to pot up when the cold hit. They spent a few days in the bathtub of our guest bathroom. I was surprised to see some cold damage on the zinnia seedlings and grew some pink slime mold on the surface of the potting mix. This pink stuff had me scratching my head for a bit, did I lose a Pepto Bismol tablet somehow? An internet search revealed the pink slime mold, I have only seen the dog vomit version of this in shades of yellow.

The seedlings. I have Lost Marbles, Black Cherry and Sweet 100 tomatoes and two red bell pepper plants. I gave up on big tomatoes a few years ago and usually have bumper crops of cherry tomatoes. Lost Marbles is a good name for this past year! I am letting these recover a bit before potting them up, hoping for Valentine’s tomatoes.

More seedlings. The zinnias seem to be recovering, though I lost several. I think a cast iron bathtub on the north wall might be colder that I thought it would be. The three seedlings in the second row are papayas grown from two Mexican Papayas we ate this fall. (I have been making Papaya Coconut cupcakes). It takes about a year to get fruit from a seedling if you get a hermaphrodite plant (with self pollinating flowers) Time will tell on these papaya seedlings; they can be male, female or hermaphrodite.

An unusual sight, but not around here. I took my dog to the vet (a neighbor’s Rottweiler bit her! she is doing well). Near the vet’s office is the former estate of Frances Langford, a movie star from fifty years ago. She kept a flock of peacocks and their descendants are still around today. There were about twenty of them, hens and peacocks. Not a great picture, but I always enjoy seeing them. Fiona the greyhound was puzzled.

That is my six from warmer South Florida. It is 84 F (28 C) today and I am grateful for the warmth. To see more posts, visit our host, Jim at

Happy New Year and Happy Gardening!!


27 comments on “Six on Saturday – Recovering for the New Year

  1. You are a true Southerner. I was amazed when I moved to the South that people thought 50 degrees was cold. Now I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fredgardener says:

    You flirted with 0°C… Your plants are lucky, even if some have suffered some damage.
    Papaya Coconut cupcakes, Yum!…
    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, see you soon for other Sixes in 2023

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How fortunate you had not yet planted out the tomatoes and zinnias! Happy New Year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Poor Fiona! I hope she recovers and has no more trouble from that rotten Rottie! 😡
    84º sounds lovely, but we’re enjoying unseasonably warm weather in the 40s, possibly 50s in the next few days, so I can’t complain too much.
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fiona thanks you, Eliza. Fortunately, she is taller than the rotten Rottie, the vet said she was very lucky and she has taken this in stride. Sounds like we all had a nice warm up from last week. Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your Zinnias are at the same stage as mine! They have been very slow this year and I noticed on an old blog that we had beautiful flowers on New Year’s Day. I’m sorry about the damage to Fiona. A new Rottweiler has moved in next door to us along with a Great Dane, and I don’t feel too pleased about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that is interesting. I had zinnias on New Years last year as well. Maybe Valentine’s Day this year. Fiona says thank you, she has another week of antibiotics and has decided she dislikes all Rottweilers now. I am leery of Rotties, but love Great Danes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. pbmgarden says:

    My you’ve been busy! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Gee, the new bougainvilleas here did not get frosted, but somehow look worse than yours. They are mostly defoliated. The cool weather came on slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We certainly live in exciting times! Sorry for your losses but your survivors look good. Also loving the pink slime mould. Happy New Year to you and yours, here’s hoping for a good one x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bittster says:

    Good to hear the damage was slight, and for as rapidly as it comes it seems your garden also recovers very quickly so that’s a plus. 84F can warm you up a bunch faster than just going up to 45F 🙂
    Unless it’s a real freeze. I remember years of looking at dead mangrove trunks along the coast after a real cold winter snap.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cathy says:

    That must have been a shock for your garden. Glad not more damage was done and it warmed up again quickly. Love the name of your tomatoes – Lost Marbles. Poor Fiona. Hope she isn’t too traumatized. I am also wary of Rottweilers as they are often trained to be guard dogs. Wishing you a very Happy New Year Amelia!

    Liked by 1 person

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