I don't think it's alarmist to say that the weather this Winter has been rather "extreme." Have we set a record for tornadoes yet? Record snowfalls all over the US. Now we're getting some bad floods, and there will be a lot more to come soon when all that snow melts. Is the weather crazier this year than normal, and is it due to global warming or global cooling? Hell if I know. This is the first winter where we were actively trying to GARDEN, so we've been outside a lot, and it's been nuts!
Here in Houston it's been really cold (really cold for Houston is about 35 degrees) and then really warm, and then really cold. Repeat. We've had a few days - not back-to-back, and that's the problem - where the temps almost hit 90. In winter. And then we'd plunge back into the 30's.
Wild fluctuations like that can cause plants to "bolt," or "flower" prematurely. We should have been prepared for that, or at least more aware. I can blame our negligence on our relative "rookie" gardener status. We just didn't think about the temperature swings. But it caused our Bok Choi to bolt.
It was rather amazing to see that thing easily grow FOUR INCHES OVERNIGHT!! One day, it looked like the first picture here, with the flower buds forming but still tucked in close. I should have taken another picture just before I pulled it up, but I didn't. Gotta do better. It grew six inches in two days. After it bolts, it becomes much more bitter, so they say, so we pulled it up, tossed it, and I re-planted more seeds.
The hibiscus are/is flowering like mad. One day we had a flaming orange flower and a couple of days later, yellow.
I took this picture in a pretty high resolution, so if you click on the flower, it should open in another window and be pret-ty large. Should also be able to magnify, etc.
And then some other pictures of some of the color in the garden. The Spearmint is flourishing. Nothing seems to bother it. Heat or cold. Ya gotta love that, and the taste and smell is heavenly.
We have a large purple thing that a friend gave us (low res). She wasn't sure what it was either, but it's hairy. This picture is a little too close, no? Hey, it's ART!
Unfortunately, the high winds took it's toll on a couple of other plants. Three of our tomato seedlings were literally blown away. And the wind also took it's toll on the Sugar Snap Peas. They got to about four inches and then we had near-tornado-force winds. Poor things. How many times have we heard about crops being damaged by wind? Well, there you go.
High winds are, we are discovering, the biggest difficulty in container gardening on the fourth floor. It may be rather mild at street level, but the wind can be howling up there. Time for another "Duh"?
I try to get artsy with the photos now and then. Someone once said that we are all artists, and I think that's probably true. Some are definitely better artists than others, but if art is in the eye of the beholder, well, then.....