Thirty-one years ago this month our family drove from the Pacific Northwest to begin the next phase of our lives in north Texas. That first winter we flew back to my family home in Ontario for Christmas. We were welcomed back to DFW with a massive ice storm. The drive home from the airport was more harrowing than any drive I had encountered in an Ontario snowstorm. The next winter my family visited us in Texas. We were outside in short sleeves, cooking on the BBQ and eating fresh broccoli from our garden for Christmas day dinner.
Family members from the great white north again visited us at Christmas in 1983 in hopes of warmer weather. What a shock that was – the coldest winter on record here. That year we lost ligustrum hedges by the thousands – they were replaced with red-tip photinia. Indian hawthorn, pittosporum, crape myrtle and even live oaks suffered. We began to feel that we needed to reconsider the core plantings of our gardens. Including more native plants in our landscapes became more important.
Weather in Texas is definitely unpredictable. It makes gardening a challenge, but the possibility of harvesting broccoli, greens, radishes and carrots for Christmas dinner keeps me always trying to outwit what nature brings us.
We are going on a road trip west next week – will keep you posted.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and the best to all in the New Year.