January 2014 update after the cold!
Here are some pics of how things faired in my yard after a low of 4F 2 fridays a go and a low of 3F last Tuesday. It was the coldest temps in my yard in 10 years and unfortunately a bit colder than other parts of NYC. The good news is the damage isn't too bad, but there are a few disappointments.
Here are the stuff that had no protection...
This trachy has never been protected and is in a part of the yard where nothing grows well for some reason. It is definitely not happy. I'd be surprised if it survives, but even if it does surprise it will never look nice.
Saw Palmetto with no protection.
Unfortunately on the coldest night of the year (3F), I accidentally forgot to put the christmas lights on ALL of the plants in my front yard so they were basically on their own with only plastic garbage bins and/or frostcloths over it. Here's how they turned out.
My Mediterrean fan palm has been in the ground since 2010 and it never had damage before with protection. Since the lights didn't turn on, it was on it's own and it suffered pretty badly. I'm staying optimistic that it will live, but it's anyone's guess.
My Oleander did not have the big lights turn on, but I did have the little christmas lights on under it's frost cloth. They don't provide a lot of heat, but the Oleander is still looking good so far so I am cautiously optimistic. I'm hoping that worst case senario, it drops some leaves and has a little die back but I would be really upset to lose one of my favorite plants.
My Calypso Oleander had the same protection and the same problem with the small lights turning on but the big ones staying off. It definitely suffered damage but I wouldn't mind a little die back from this one since it was a bit leggy anyways.
Here are all of the things that were properly protected during the cold spell.
Here's my trachy. My main worry with this one was it getting overheated since no matter what material I used to protect it, it would always overheat. I had a beige covered tarp over the plastic garbage bin to keep it from overheating but on days with highs above 30F with sun, it still managed to get very hot. So far it looks great though and it has even grown a bit the past 2 weeks.
My Livistona got all of it's damage before I put the protection on it this fall. It had no problems with the cold this past week with some C7 lights and a plastic garbage bin over it. Last year the entire palm defoliated so if it doesn't get any more damage this winter, it will be really well off in the spring.
And here's a pic of some indoor blooms. The ti plants always go crazy with blooms this time of the year, no matter where in the house they are or what type it is, they all go in bloom at the same time. It's pretty interesting.
Thanks for looking! Hopefully summer will be here before we all know it and hopefully winter won't be too harsh from this point on although we do still have a solid month of deep winter left.