07 December 2011

Festivity by Necessity

Continuing this week's theme of night photography...

...last night we strung Christmas lights on the agave.



Not because we were moved by the spirit of the season, but because it was expected to get below freezing last night, and we want to be sure the agave survives the winter.

It's probably overkill, since this particular variety of agave (desmettiana variegata) is cold hardy to 25 degrees and it was only going to get down to about 29. (Austin is in USDA hardiness zone 8b, while our agave is best-suited to zones 9-11 -- south Texas and Mexico.) But we're pretty much guaranteed to get down below 25 at some point this winter, so we were going to have to do this sooner or later...and why not give the neighbor kids some holiday joy?

Now that the lights are in place, it's easy to toss a blanket on top to keep the agave toasty on cold winter nights. (We had to search the Christmas storage for a set of old-style lights; LEDs, while efficient, don't produce the heat needed for holiday-induced plant heating to work.)


Our blanket of choice? A thick moving pad (picked up recently at Northern Tool for a few bucks).



We've got slightly warmer temperatures ahead, so we won't be needing the blanket for a little while, but we'll keep the lights on at night anyway. 'Cause we're not total grinches.

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