Dutch Gardeners Save Flowers From Cold With Ice

01.03.2013

Europeans are used to mild winters and early spring that starts by the end of February. This year Europe is still freezing, experiencing somewhat Russian winter weather. We, humans, can dress warmly and get away with the cold, but it is not really comfortable for plants that have already awaken from long winter sleep. This is why gardeners in the Netherlands save their botanic masterpieces from getting irreversibly frozen with ice!

Flowers glazed with ice won't freeze and die!

This solution seems totally irrational at first glance: freezing the plants to save them from freezing. However, it is not quite like this – all due to the unique physical properties of the most amazing substance on Earth. That is, water. Tiny drops of water freeze when sprinkled on early sprouts of spring and emit 335 kJ of heat per gram of water. 

Visitors of Dutch gardens were quite amazed: all plants were covered with ice!

Besides that, thermal conductivity of ice is close to zero, which means that glazing protects leaves and flowers from bitter cold and wintertime winds. There is one rather unpleasant aspect of this method though, that is related to water-saving issues. For instance, on February 23, when the weather was particularly nasty, gardeners spent up to six thousand liters of water per hour!

Photo: Reuters