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Winter -10, Garden 0

Harmed by freezing temperatures, my beautiful plants didn´t make it through the night. Every leaf, every flower, every tree… lost. Foolish winter! How dare you ruin my garden? The beautiful aralia, the aromatic cinnamon, the beautiful green leaves of every plant… have now lost their color due to the freezing night.

It is the first -10 degrees (14 Farenheit) night in 32 years. The cold wind arrived like a thief and left nothing in the garden… or so we thought. I remember many winters before. All you know about them is that temperatures will decline, and you will need to get yourself warm clothing and prepare for the absence of rain, with probable snow in the mountains. All the same, in summer you know that temperatures will rise, you will need to look out for the garden as it can get drawn in so much rain, and of course you need to take care of yourself by drinking a lot of water.

Very interestingly, in the many winters I have witnessed I had never seen my plants harmed so much by low temperatures. These last five days I didn´t want to take action in my plants, but today I cut all the dead leaves. I wish I had a camera to show you (a disaster of great proportion), but I dropped it in water last summer and did not get a new one yet. I was amazed to find out that the external leaves had frozen… but the inside is not harmed. This is because the plants were healthy, beautiful and full of leaves. My tomato and lettuce did not make it (they are weaker), but the little onions are… OK!

My garden taught me a lesson. If you take care of it when the time is right, it will not perish. Just like your family. If you feed your family well, if you give your family your tender love and care, their leaves will be strong enough not to perish in the many cold winters that come ahead. Caring… has turned out to be the best medicine for a frozen garden.

Caring, then, will do the same with your beautiful garden… and family. Summers, winters and the rest will hit you, but will not destroy if you have cared for yourself enough in the right time. Get ready, go for it. Start caressing, start winning all the battles against the unknown. What are the odds that a thief will rob the green of your garden? I don´t know. You don´t know either. But being well taken care of, being strong, well fed, big enough, full of character, will certainly make you not only ready to survive, but most likely to be successful in everything you do. What a wonderful drug, this “caressing treatment” turned out to be!


Kim Crane's picture

I enjoyed reading your post

It's hard to imagine it being winter anywhere while my poor garden is turning brown and crispy in the sun here in Portland (mostly due to neglect and spotty watering). My onions are also doing great though :)

jap21's picture

Hi Kim

Thanks for reading! Cut off all the brown and crispy now, and you'll have green and beautiful in two weeks.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

jadefrank's picture

inch by inch, row by row

Dear Jackie,

What a beautiful comparison - caring for a your garden as you care for your family - both will grow and flourish with constant care, attention and love. So true!

I'm sorry to hear that your garden froze! So sad! When I lived in Alaska, I had a little cabin in the woods. While I was away for a week, the weather dropped down to -50F and when I came back to my cabin, the heat had gone and it was the same temperature inside... all my beautiful plants that had provided me a winter garden oasis, were frozen solid! So sad. Imagine if I had left loved ones for a week in the cold?

Now I live in Oregon and everything grows here! I have a garden this summer of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes and more... I feel so fortunate to have a little patch of dirt to cultivate such delicious and beautiful veggies.

Enjoy your hearty onions!


Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Nusrat Ara's picture

Glad to know you are into

Glad to know you are into growing things. Somehow it feels so good :)



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