Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Freezable…

Whoa, it is cold outside. It seems to me that no matter how much we prepare for winter it always seems top throw us a curve. As I came home a few days ago from work I raced out to the water shut off valves to turn them off and drain the sprinkler system. I thought it may get as cold as predicted and wanted to make sure I had done everything I could to assure a smooth transition back to warmer weather.
I noticed that a few feet away from me was a Correa ‘Dusky Bells’ which I had just planted this summer. This plant is not terribly hardy here so I had my misgivings as to how it would fair. After two nights below 20 degrees…it looks stunning. Covered in the soft pink and mint green pendulous bell shaped blooms, the coldness seems to enhance their color, making them glow against the dark, evergreen small oval leaves…just lovely.
I did also see that with such a harsh freeze my Dahlias and Chrysanthemums finally gave up the ghost. Boy do I think these are so underused in our gardens! They have been blooming for months now, offering nonstop color. I purchased three varieties at the Chrysanthemum show in 2008 at Portland Nursery on Division and was too delighted to see how amazingly they preformed in their first year, especially the spider mum.
My palms I wrapped seem to be fairing ok as well…I did have to recover the top as the rains we had a few weeks ago filled them up like miniature swimming pools.
My Musa Bajoo could not withstand the freezes either. And no, I did not make the time to wrap them. Hopefully they will once again forgive me and come bursting out of the ground next year again, content to start from deep within the earth rather than at six feett tall already.
And much to my surprise, my bulbs are already pushing their way out of the ground. Imagine that, in December! Some people say to push them deeper in the ground a cover them with mulch but I figure if Mother Nature’s telling them to start growing…who am I to stop them? Besides, selfishly, it makes me think spring is just around the corner…an event I am already greatly anticipating…
And lastly I was watering inside the greenhouse when I went around a corner and felt really cold air! You guessed it. There was an 18” tear in the plastic. It looked like someone had falling into it because their were finger stretch marks where they tried to right themselves. Nothing a little greenhouse tape can’t mend.
If you don’t have a greenhouse you should really consider the investment. How beautiful it is to stroll thru there when it is this cold outside and feel the warmth of the tropics…The Greenhouse Catalog store in Brooks has really nice greenhouses that aren’t cost prohibitive. Check out their website…they do shipping as well. What could be easier?
Sometimes I feel like being on Gardentime should force me to have the perfect gardens year round. Well, I’m here to tell you my friends, that’s just not the case. But nevertheless, I adore my gardens and even though I never seem to get everything done that I desire to, I try to be as gentle and forgiving to myself as much as mother nature is to my gardens.
Stay warm, be happy and dream of spring…
Happy Gardening,
William