Sunday, April 5, 2009

Please Don't Let it Happen Again


My friends and family have heard me talk for 2 years about the damage we had here in Fairfield Glade and in many places in Middle Tennessee after the horrible Freeze of 2007 (April 5-9). Many flowers and trees had just begun to bud/bloom when the freeze hit us. They were just too vulnerable ---and couldn't withstand the low temperatures for several days.

We had had gorgeous weather during late March---and the temperatures made it feel as if it was Summertime . The leaves on the trees had begun to open. The Redbuds and Dogwoods were in full bloom. The azaleas were about to bloom, and many other spring flowers and shrubs were growing like crazy. Then Mother Nature sent us a BIG message---reminding us that she is still 'in charge.'


George and I had and still have alot of flowers/trees/shrubs/plants in our yard. We also had 23 rose bushes ---which were just beginning to grow and flourish that year. We KNEW that the freeze was coming--so we did the only thing we could do (take all of the sheets we had and cover the roses). We didn't have enough sheets to cover anything else---so, because of that, we lost most of that year's Lilies, Daylilies and Tulips.


The Redbuds, Dogwoods, and Azaleas were all BROWN. The new green leaves on the trees turned BLACK. I couldn't make myself even look at all of the damage for several days. It was VERY upsetting ---and yet, nothing we had any control over!


We were able to take all of our hanging baskets, potted plants, and our fern back into the garage --where they were fine. And luckily, after all was said and done, most of our roses DID make it through the freeze with little damage. George had to cut them back quite a bit and most of them didn't give us many blooms that year. BUT--at least, most of them lived.

Here are some pictures taken that year. The one above shows some of our roses covered --in preparation for the cold front! Below are more pictures--taken AFTER the freeze.








All of the new leaves on the big shade trees around here totally turned black...





This is what the trees (ones with new, vulnerable leaves on them) looked like throughout the Cumberland Plateau and middle Tennessee that year after the freeze.







Can you recognize our RedBud (on the left) and the Dogwood (on the right)---after the freeze???? They were so gorgeous before the freeze. I will show some 'before' pictures sometime. You won't believe it!







Here is a close-up view of some of those new leaves on the trees---which just turned black... I had never seen anything like this before--although I'm sure it had happened in past (and will in the future, unfortunately).







Our gorgeous Lilies in the lamppost flowerbed just turned to MUSH...







Our side flowerbed had gorgeous Tulips blooming ... They just wilted. The Daffodils had bloomed out--so they weren't affected like the Tulips, Lilies and Daylilies.









This is what our gorgeous Pink Azalea looked like after the freeze... Yuk!









The lilies were so tall and beautiful before the freeze. They just fell over and then died... Poor things!









Here's another picture of the brown/black leaves on the trees --after the freeze. It's kinda ironic to see that --with the beautiful blue sky in the background, isn't it???


NOW---the reason I posted this was to ask for good thoughts and prayers for us for this upcoming week, specifically April 6-8. (NOTE: it's almost the same dates as the Freeze of '07.) The weather people are saying that our temperatures will go in the 20's with snow this upcoming week. Again, we will do what we can to protect everything--but there's only so much one can do when it comes to dealing with Mother Nature.

The good news so far is that we didn't have a warm March this year ---so there are very few new leaves on the trees, and the Azaleas and Dogwoods have not bloomed yet. AND---this freeze won't last as long, nor will it be as cold as it was consistently in '07. SO---hopefully, everything will be okay... BUT--just send a few good thoughts asking Mother Nature to be good to us this week!!!! Thanks!

Hugs,

42 comments:

Kallen305 said...

I will be crossing my fingers and saying a little prayer for you Betsy. Can you put some kind of sheltering around our flowers to prevent frost. Tarps, sheets, anything??

Grammy said...

Look like we are in for the same thing the next couple of days. My plumett is blooming this year I thought it was lost as it only has 2 plums last year.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

It's those once in a generation April freezes that ecological are the big difference maker in the landscape we see. And of course they disrupt the spring and summer to come as well.

TheWritersPorch said...

We will have to cover up even in the deep South and we are in full fledge Spring! Wishing you the best!
Carol

Jayne said...

Oh mercies Betsy, I remember it well. It was so sad to see everything so black and wilted. :c( We are also being told it will be in the low 30's here on Mon and Tues morning, but nothing like the lower temps you all will probably get up there on the plateau. I will be crossing all my crossables that it is brief and not as cold as they say it might be.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh Betsy...It hurts my eyes to see the damage to all your pretty plants. We have had this happen too wayyyy down here and it takes forever for the plants to heal.

I already told George that I will use my native American heritage and do an anti-winter dance for you today....to keep 'old man COLD' from your area!!!!

Get those sheets out....take care, suz

Smilingsal said...

God is amazing that He allows us such a beautiful place to live. When we have a nasty turn of bad weather, we can more fully appreciate the beauty He surrounds us with.

Mildred said...

Good Morning, We were just discussing the upcoming week's weather forecast. I remember the freeze of '07 and our yard suffered too. Our Japanese Maple looked terrible all summer. I hope it won't get as cold as they predict. Today looks like a gorgeous day, so enjoy your afternoon.

Pat - Arkansas said...

We're slated for the same thing, Betsy! No snow, as far as I can tell, but a hard freeze! The azaleas are blooming here, along with the fruit trees. Arkansas has quite a lot of fruit orchards (peaches, apples mostly) and these will be devastated. Sometimes Mother Nature is not very nice.

Jane said...

Here is a hope and a prayer that everything in your yard will survive! They are calling for snow and cold temps in the mountains here, and lows in the low 30s for my area.

J

Deborah Godin said...

I used to buy those 99c clear poly drop cloths and drape and tuck them over whatever couldn't be moved inside. Crossing fingers for you guys!! Those black trees are painful to look at!

Small City Scenes said...

Mother Nature does like to keep us on our toes. That is what generally happens here. March can be so beautiful that we are lulled into a false sense of security and then Ka-boom--a late frost. This year we are like your area---a cold and wet March so things are just coming up and budding out. Well last year we got an unheard of snow in April. Global warming? I think it is global cooling.

I didn't buy anything at the fair--and I had some money too-- but down the road was an Art Show and I really WANTED to get something there but only came away with a card. Go figure. LOL MB

NCmountainwoman said...

The "Easter Freeze" is still a topic of conversation around here. It ruined the apple and peach crops among other things. Neighboring Hendersonville County had to import apples for the fall Apple Festival.

Here's hoping it won't be as bad as predicted.

NCmountainwoman said...

Of course, I meant Henderson County. The town is Hendersonville.

fishing guy said...

Betsy: Hope you make it through with little damage.

Kathleen said...

The first photo reminded me of when I was little and my Grandmother would put a sheet out in the yard for me to play on.
Our tree blooms ended last week and all is green... owrd is out to be in the 20's Tuesday..Oh NOOOO!

Diane said...

Dear Betsy, Nature can be so cruel. I'm hoping that you don't get any frost, even a little is so destructive.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh,I sure hope you don't get that cold weather.It can be so disheartening to see all that new growth die off.I don't mean to preach but I have to remind myself of Who is in control.This helps me get through these times.
Blessings,Ruth

Shellmo said...

I am hoping & praying both for you & George! You have so many wonderful things in your yard! We are expecting 6 inches tonight and have a winter storm warning - so hopefully i can absorb the brunt of the storm for ya since I haven't planted anything yet! :-)

Susie said...

Betsy you won't believe it but it is suppose to get down to 33 tomorrow night. I will definitely have to cover some plants.

Mary said...

Wow...I've never seen all that black before in the trees that froze! We always get late freezes but not serious enough to do that sort of damage. I hope it won't happen this year for you. How frustrating to see all that beauty hit so hard.

Pigeon said...

It may snow here on tuesday. We aren't as far along as you are with blooms, so it may be ok for us. One year it rained and then froze up our flowering crab apple tree. Half the branches cracked and fell away, leaving us with what looked like half a tree. I hope you get lucky.

Cedar ... said...

Yes, Mother Nature lets us know she's still in charge as you said. I sure hope you don't lose your lovely flowers and shrubs this week!

Janie said...

I hope the weatherman in the sky looks after your garden. The plants are so beautiful, it would be a shame if their time is cut short in a frost.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I'm still checking the forecast, but looks like the snow is a go.....
Now I have to find all my cotton sheets to cover everything up, and hope I have enough of them.
Save your plants betsy, at all costs !!

Tina said...

Betsy,
Well, I will be crossing my fingers for you and your trees and plants..
we are still in toledo with a winter storm bearing down on us with 3-4 inches of snow for tomorrow..everytime we go away we get snowed in..hoping this storm DOESN'T come any further east..will do everything i can to try and blow it further north!! I have a lot of hot air! lol..
hang in there. :)

Betty said...

I hope all your beautiful plants make it through the freeze. My huge roddie that blooms in Feb almost every year still only has tight buds I have a feeling that they are not going to open this year.~~Hugs~~
P.S. Have you heard from Betty's This and That I am kinda worried about her husband.

Marge said...

Sending good thoughts your way too. I'm hoping my trees will be okay since the blooms are almost gone, but not sure about the Dogwood trees. Is this Dogwood winter??? lol

Femin Susan said...

i don't know any thing about the trees you mentioned.they are not at all found in my place.
it is so sad to see your garden without flowers.any way let your garden return to a good form very fast.
let mother nature be kind to your garden.
cheers :)

The Whites said...

Betsy,
We're preparing for the freeze here too. W'll becovering everything up tomorrow afternoon!

Mandy

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

i too hope we do not get the snow and freezing temps.....M..

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Betsy,
I was in north Alabama (not far from Chattanooga) during that freeze...everything had budded out..it was awful...the trees looked spooky with the black leaves.

Oh, how I hope this cold front doesn't do too much damage but it's not looking good..what I read for Gatlinburg is to look for 2 inches of snow!!!

Stephanie
Queen of Dreamsz

Natural Moments said...

I hope it doesn't get as cold as they are predicting. I wish the best for you and your plants.

b

Naturegirl said...

Betsy: I'm sending you sunshine and blue skie from Arizona! Crossing fingers for you! YUCK for sure! ((Back off Mother Nature!!))

Your EG Tour Guide said...

OH! That freeze really made everything ugly!

We're supposed to get 6 to 8 inches of snow today...but most of our plants are still dormant.

Bird Girl said...

Good thoughts and prayers coming your way! This happens in PA, too. We have some of the most gorgeous Magnolia trees and I've seen them just covered with beautiful pink blooms one day - and turn to brown much the next - BUMMER!!!

Peggy said...

I will say a prayer. I love seeing all your beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees. You can just see the love you have put into each one.

Harriet said...

I remember 07 very well. We had the same thing here in East Tennessee. It was such a strange sight to see trees with BLACK leaves in April! Our Dogwood trees are in bloom now. Hope it doesn't get as cold as they say. I wanted snow a couple of months ago but I'm over it now. I just want my trees and flowers to make it through this cold weather. I'll cover what I can but some are too big. Good luck there in Middle Tennessee

dot said...

I remember how horrible it was here that year also. Everything is budded out now so I'm hoping it doesn't happen again.

Natalie said...

I know it was 75 or so here yesterday and we were outside allllll day long. Today you would get frost bite. It is supposed to snow here later tonight and tomrrow. YUCK!

Leedra said...

2007 was our first spring in the new house. We had bought a new Japanese Maple, looking good. Killed it dead. Gave it 1 1/2 years, never came back out. Finally replaced it this past fall with a different type of tree. If it snows tonight it would be better than the cold without the snow. In 1987 April 3 we had a foot of snow, on top of the tulips. I took photos that looked like a blanket on top of the tulips. After the snow was gone the tulips were just fine.

I hope we survive this one ok.

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Daisy said...

Yikes! So glad it was snow you got this time around instead of frost.