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Did the Freeze Open Doors for Change in Your Garden?


It’s been five weeks since the big freeze. As my yoga instructor, Gretchen Weber, said so well last night, the first few weeks was about mourning. Mourning the loss of big, beautiful, tropical plants that have abounded in our warmer-than-normal winters. 

Now we’re all in the recovery mode. Some have been quicker on the draw than others. Some want to just get their garden back to where it was as quickly as possible. For others, now may be a great time to rethink your garden. What do you want going forward? 

Do you want your landscape beds wider so they will accommodate the natural growth of plants without constant shearing? Or smaller beds with more grass or rock? 

Do you want a compost bin in a spot where a big overgrown shrub once was, a compost bin that will help you constantly enrich your soil?

Do you want to have more plants that feed the birds and butterflies? Yesterday, I visited with Dr. Dale Gawlik, Endowed Chair for Conservation and Biodiversity, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. He moved from Florida into a home on Padre Island that had many ornamental plants that died in the freeze. Instead of replacing with the same, he is going back with only plants that provide habitat and food for birds and butterflies. 

Do you want plants that stay lower to show off more of your house from the outside? Or plants that grow up and frame your views from the inside?

Do you want to change your color palette (another Gretchen comment last night)? 

Do you want less of your landscape to be tropical so in the next freeze you don’t lose as much? Now’s a good time to drive around and see what plants flourished in the cold temperatures. 

Take your time. Look through magazines and make Pinterest boards. Stroll our garden center and others. Our growers are ramping up to supply us more plants and greater variety than ever. Enjoy the process and always remember, we’re here to help you. 

-Sally Gill

Reader Interactions


  1. Ty Cobb says

    I had planted a strip of native shrubs Guajillo (?) Yaupon Holly, Fiddlewood, sage, Mexican Olive, all are doing great. Will the Ebony , Surinam Cherry and Pride of Barbados come back? No sign yet. Please advise. Thanks.
    Ty Cobb

  2. james says

    Texas Avenue died to the ground in 83 and 89. So I’m expecting it may be the same this time. Should come back from the ground. Pride of Barbados also, should come back from the ground. Suriname cherry I don’t know, but I would guess it’s dead and not to return

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