Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring is Springing!

I know I'm jumping the gun by about a week, but after a very cold winter, we are starting to see blooms on trees and green shoots coming out of the soil!  It'll be another month or so before everything really leafs out - this is the state of our oak trees currently:
The green is some other early-achiever tree; not sure what kind, but I'm happy to see it!  Also, it really was this gray during the day yesterday thanks to a cold front that blew in.

We had two hard freezes here, one that lasted for five days at the beginning of January, with low temps in the mid-20s, and another mid-January, with a week of lows that at one point dipped down to 14 degrees.  Naturally, both of these hard freezes happened when we were out of town (in North Carolina and in Houston), so we couldn't cover the plants in the ground like we normally would.  We tried to prepare for the possibility of extremely cold weather ahead of our trips by bringing our potted plants inside the garage, but it ended up getting super cold there as well, so we didn't know if any would survive.  After the morning lows stopped being so low, we dragged all of the pots onto the driveway so the plants could get some sunlight and water, and last weekend, we decided to see what we could salvage.

The pots were covered in leaves that had fallen from our trees, but once we pulled all of that mess away, we were surprised to discover that some were not only still alive, but were growing!  This sedum, which hasn't looked great for the past couple of years, looks really promising now:
 
I honestly thought this plant was done for, based on what it looked like in January.

The rest of the plants mostly survived - the beautiful portulaca, with all of its colorful blooms didn't make it, nor did the blue daze bedding plants that looked so good all summer and fall.  Both of those were an inexpensive investment for the return of color so we'll be replacing them as soon as we can find some in our local garden centers.
Back patio - hey, at least it's green.  The living Christmas tree might not make it to next Christmas; I think I underwatered it while it was inside the house.
Other corner of the back patio - the Sago palm did not fare well during the hard freezes; we cut off all of the dead fronds and are hoping it will stage a comeback.
This was another pleasant surprise - after a couple years of not looking great, this plant is growing like crazy with all kinds of new leaves!
Front yard - the plant in the brown pot near the quail family got an upgrade from living on the Island of Misfit Toys...er, Plants, to coming out for display - it was near dead all last year but staged a nice comeback.
The rest of the front bed, still with some weeds because we started at one end of the house and got tired of weeding by the time we worked our way over here, LOL.
A casualty of winter?  My Hawaiian Ti plant's leaves were mostly crispy and dead, so I cut it back and will see if it regrows.  I love this plant so much that I might just replace it (and move this one to the Island...)

I wasn't kidding about the Island of Misfit Plants - you see, Jeff can't bear to throw any plant in the trash if it shows any sign of life.  I don't want our yard to look ugly, so the compromise is that those plants have to be hidden.  They are in the backyard, on the side of the house, where they either come back to life or die completely...but either way, I don't have to look at them:
The Island is currently home to a barely-alive bougainvillea and something else that is looking pretty wretched.  I take complete ownership of the attitude that plants have to look good to be on display at my house - shape up or ship out, I say!

Speaking of good-looking plants, I'm trying AGAIN with a new bougainvillea:
This go-round, I'm starting it in the front of the house - fingers crossed it keeps blooming all summer like it should!  Don't break my heart again, bougainvillea...I can't take it!

13 comments:

  1. You’re probably tired of hearing this but we’re see having another snowstorm tonight. I hope it’s the last one.

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    1. It's snowing in Raleigh, NC - WHAT?! The weather this winter has been whack.

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  2. Anything in pots has to be brought inside for the winter here. I love the variety of plants you have--I'm always amazed when I travel south how many different and beautiful types of foliage I see!

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    1. It's funny you say that, because I don't feel like we have a good variety of plants...but then, I'm from California - where I didn't appreciate the abundance while we lived there.

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  3. I'm always reading how humid it is there and didn't realize you had a cold winter.

    I have some plants that I brought in for the winter but I did not take car of them like I should have. They are still hanging in there. I hope they make it!

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    1. We usually have a few short cold days, but this winter got cold and stayed that way.

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  4. You might be surprised at how strong your plants come back. I kept a hibiscus going for 3 summers by bringing it inside. (As you might guess, hibiscus are NOT New England friendly!) It would look nearly gone by the time I hauled it back out but after a couple weeks outdoors it looked great and bloomed.

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    1. I am always impressed when I see your hibiscus on your patio...didn't realize that it was the same one!

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  5. It feels like springtime here too! You have such a nice variety of plants! I'm impressed that you're trying again with the bougainvillea . I was so irritated with its lack of blooms that I am thinking of planting a tomato in the big pot that it was in :)

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    1. This is my last go-round with a bougainvillea...FINGERS CROSSED it does what it's supposed to do this time!

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  6. Your plants look so green and vivid, especially compared to all of the gray and blah we have up here in the Midwest still. LOL at the Island of Misfit Plants! My office has turned into the same - I have a mostly dead gardenia that I can't part with, and an only slightly dead rose bush. Sigh.

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    1. LOL at your office of misfit plants...

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  7. Your plants are all looking great! I also wondered what would survive the freeze here and it seems that most everything survived except one or two plants. This winter was so crazy...

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