Gardeners are always slaves to the weather.
With temperatures falling far below zero, we can only wait and wonder what will survive.
Many of us have filled the garden with plants which are marginally hardy in our area. Figs, crape myrtles, some climbing roses and other plants are at risk to die back to the ground. That could adversely effect fruit and or flower production next season.
The good news and bad news is there's not much we can or should do. More damage could be done to small trees and shrubs by trying to wrap them with burlap or some other protective fabric while they are frozen and fragile.
Although if plants are in containers they could be moved to a protected spot. In my case, the figs are going back in an unheated greenhouse, which still might be too cold for the plant. They should have been in there already, just another end of the season job which never got done.
I'm glad my hydrangeas were already surrounded with burlap to keep the buds from freezing out during cold winter winds.
Yesterday on The Organic Gardeners Radio Show my partner Jessica Walliser recommended using the boughs of Christmas trees to mulch plants gardeners are worried about. But she also concurred that for the most part, it's best to wait and see what happens.
At least there's a coating of snow to act as an insulator, the more snow the better in these conditions.
We probably won't see the full effect of these brutal temperatures until spring. It will be interesting to see what makes it and what doesn't.
It will also be fascinating to see what effect the cold will have on recent pests like stink bugs and other insects which have slowly worked their way north as temperatures have warmed over the last century.
Gardening can often give us a wild ride and when the weather changes dramatically, it's a reminder that Mother Nature is always in charge.