At left, hydroponic lettuces growing in Antarctica at Australia's Davis Station. At right, an agave on the hot seat. Play this podcast. I think the end of January officially qualifies as "the dead of winter," and for a lot of us, it's a time of year when we seldom think of growing plants. It's the most extreme season in the garden when it comes to cold... Or is it? Coming off one of the worst drought years in the U.S. since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, some might disagree, and they'd have a point. Or DownloadFrom iTunes Of course, plants always endure in some capacity, no matter how we humans fare in extreme situations. The upshot is that for us is that where plants endure, gardeners endure too. In this episode, "Fire and Ice," we look at plants and the people growing them in very different, very extreme circumstances. In the first half, I'll talk to Darryl Seidel, whose garden we featured previously here at Fine Gardening in the Garden Photo of the Day. Darryl manages the greenhouse at Australia's Davis Station in Antarctica, and I'll talk to him about the challenges of growing plants on the coldest, driest continent on earth--and in winter, no less. After that, Debra Lee Baldwin, author of Succulent Container Gardens and the upcoming Succulents Simplified, tells the story of how a friend credits succulent plants for saving her home from Southern California's vicious wildfires of 2007. Links mentioned in this podcast...Garden Photo of the Day:Darryl's Garden in AntarcticaDebra Lee Baldwin It's an extreme episode of Garden Confidential this month! We hope you'll listen in. Music from this podcast by ccMixter users gurdonark and Pitx. View the discussion thread.