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Gloom & Doom in the Iris Patch

Well, I'm settling in for a cup of coffee (the REAL stuff) now after spending
the last 2 and a half hours pouring water on my frozen irises in an attempt
to salvage something after a very hard frost.  Nothing had bloomed yet (we
are at least 2 weeks behind "normal" here), but everything was growing and
one MDB bloomstalk was just starting to show color.  

I don't know just how cold it got, but it was very disheartening watching the
water rivulets freeze into ice balls slowly sliding down the leaves.  I think
the intensive watering before the sun reached them helped some, now I'll have
to wait to assess the damage.  Can anyone explain how washing the plants off
well seems to help?  I can see the somewhat translucent-appearing, dark green
leaves slowly changing back to a more normal shade of gray-glue-green as I do
it.  Does this actually thaw the leaf before the sun hits it and the cells
rupture?  But the water freezing in the plant cells is the problem, isn't it?
 How does the sun figure in, or is that just an old husband's tale?

Anyway, all the neighbors on the way to work probably had a bit of a laugh
seeing the local "Iris nut" at it again.  I managed to console myself, while
sprinkling myself with cold water, and slipping and sliding on the ice
forming on the landscape timbers, with the thought of iris borers breaking
their little teeth chewing on my frozen irises.

Ah, this REAL coffee hits the spot!  

Dorothy Fingerhood
Newfield, NY (Zone ridiculous)

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