Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Post Freeze Update

As many of you are aware, just over a week ago, much of the PNW saw the coldest temperatures in years. The cold lasted for roughly one week with several days below freezing. These events certainly test the limits of many plants in the garden - mine particularly. Temperatures in my neighbourhood dropped near 12F for a few brief hours. Luckily, that very night clouds rolled in and temperatures rose significantly. But I thought it was about time to do a post cold follow-up.

While things are looking a bit sad in the yard, I thought I soften the ugly winter state of the yard with this wreath at the front door. I took a fair amount of eucalyptus, olive branches, rosemary and things from the yard plus some extra touches.

And onto the plants. Usually my first concern when we get any significant cold is the palms. Specifically, any new"ish" ones. This sabal minor seems to have shrugged off the cold without any care. I can already tell that I've found a new favourite plant in this palm.

Echeveria gluaca are looking surprisingly good considering how long the cold lasted. This plant has been around for about three years now. I love it! If you are looking for a somewhat hardy tropical looking succulent for the PNW, I would definitely recommend it.

I put this side table over my agave ovatifolia frosty blue but I don't think it was necessary considering the cold was for the most part dry. I did throw some evergreen branches around it to try and give it a bit of insulation. It seems to be doing well.

Trachycarpus wagnerianus is a garden rockstar and looks great! This is the best palm in my opinion for the PNW. Mine is small and has proven to be much slower than t. fortunei.

And the nearby trachycarpus fortunei are looking great as well. You can see a strand of christmas lights if you look closely. I turned them on in order to provide some protection to the central growing spears of the palm in case temperatures went lower than forecasted.

I did protect this chamaerops humilis. As you can see there are some christmas lights going up towards the central growing spears and the top half of the palm was bundled up tight with burlap in order to protect the fronds a bit from dry wind. I don't think it was necessary but I've grown so attached to how full this palm is. It currently stands about 6.5 feet tall and wide.

I have no idea how this olive tree will handle the cold. If you remember it was ripped out of the ground and left dry and completely bare root. It was then planted late in the autumn and had already had some tip die back. The foliage seems really healthy but time will tell.

As per usual, all the yuccas look great. This banana split yucca has since taken on some pink tones. They tend to do this with colder weather.

Sabal palmetto doesn't seem to mind the cold either. The browning on the one frond tips was actually from the summer.

Here's where things start looking less pretty... this tuscan blue rosemary took some damage. It will recover just fine but it looks a little scrappy.

Same goes for this ground cover rosemary.

The worse of all is my schefflera yuan shan. It didn't rebound like it usually does from cold? It was already looking a little bit sad in the fall and I'm wondering if something more is going on. On the other hand, I already have seen signs of new growth.
Just a couple feet away this schefflera brevipedunclata is looking happy.

On a happier note, as per normal, fatsia japonica takes the cold weather in stride. I don't think anything phases this plant.

My butia was protected with burlap and a tarp. I have an emotional connection to this palm and will not risk the cold weather.

Opuntia (no i.d.) looks great. It froze solid but doesn't seem to care.

The big surprise is this phormium. It had some burlap around it but I thought it was for sure dead. When I pulled the burlap away it looked pretty good!

These trachycarpus and yucca rostrata don't really mind the cold.

And my first year with loquats in the ground seems to be a successful - so far. I think they are much hardier than people think.

These echeveria - that I was too lazy to lift in the fall - seem to be okay after the cold. This is certainly a surprise. They look like sempervivums, this is probably a stupid question, but do they hybridize together?

Dyckia grape jelly looks okay. I think it will pull through. I hope.

And another happy surprise is this nolina la siberica. It looks great! I'm always somewhat skeptical of hardiness ratings until I've put them to the test. Seeing as this was planted last spring from a small 4inch pot, it is doing really well given the cold we just experienced.

There you have it. The garden seems to be doing pretty good all things considered!