Friday, February 22, 2013

I’m watching you (walking the hood)…

I took a walk around my neighborhood back in early November, taking note of a plants I thought might not make it through winter, depending on what mother nature had in store for us. I thought it would be fun to look back once we were on the other side and see what made it and what didn’t; little did I know we were going to have a fairly mild winter! Of course there is still time for something unfortunate to occur, but with each passing day it becomes a little less likely, thank goodness! Our first contender is this little Aloe, which I think is sold as ‘Pink Blush’ from Proven Winners.

Planted in a raised bed (good drainage) and snuggled up against a container I thought it just might stand a chance at surviving.

This is what it looked like when I walked by a couple of weeks ago…

Not so good.

Just down the street Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' (I think), looking good back then but left out to face winter on its own…

And now…

That’s surprising! I should add it’s planted atop a rocky wall and under overhanging trees. Of course this also means it gets very little direct sun.

Graptopetalum paraguayense (I think) then…

And now…perfect!

Although this one has a few sad leaves. The colors they've taken on are interesting too, some of it is due to the light of the day, and my camera, but the actual plants are looking quite different.

The rest of my “then” photos were all taken at McMenamin’s Kennedy School and with the exception of this photo where the red blooms are really accentuating the green Echium pininana and powder blue Yucca rostrata…

...everything is looking pretty much the same, which is to say great! So the rest of these are all photos taken in February. Here’s a newly planted grevillea getting some protection and being held upright…

My original Magnolia laevifolia crush...

And one of the very first (if not the first) Schefflera taiwaniana that I saw in person (it's grown a lot since then!).

Tetrapanax in the same “pre-bloom freeze” state as mine…

Another of my plant crushes (especially this time of year) Garrya elliptica.

Here we are in my favorite part of this garden, the dry mound…

I don’t recall this agave ever having a bad day. All gorgeous all the time.

Colletia paradoxa (anchor plant), could it be? Uhm…really didn't think that would prove hardy here even in a mild winter...

Their Euphorbia stygiana looks good to…

I ran into these next two characters on my way home. They appear to be taking a rest after a wicked night of debauchery.

I should mention the coldest temperature we've recorded here in Portland this winter (at the airport) was 23F...we've had only a couple light dustings of snow and even though there were couple of pretty cold weeks in January we always made above freezing during the day, which is of course significant for the plants. All in all a pretty great winter! (knocking on wood)


  1. That pristine looking Agave parryi (or I think what it is), drool!!!

    1. Yes that's what I've always tight of it as!

  2. Isn't it interesting that the Tetrapanax flower stems stay upright on the plant while the leaves droop and drag and finally come off. And that Agave parryi - gorgeous! And in the ground in Portland, too!

    1. Yes! I cut off some sagging leaves from my flowering plant just the other day, but the flowers were still solid as a rock.

  3. We're almost home free, though I do remember a significant snowfall in March one year. I have an Aloe like that first one...glad I kept it inside.

    1. Just last year there was that freak snow storm as I was headed down to the SF Garden show in March...anything is possible!

  4. Things are looking pretty good! Like everyone else, I love the Agave parryi! Was wonderful, as always, to see you today!

  5. It's great to see that Agave looking so good, it gives me hope. I am surprised at the Graptopetalum. Isn't it cool how they form new plants from the fallen leaves? Poor Aloe! It was great to see you at lunch today!


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