Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We had some weather

After I published my December 22nd "it's officially winter now" post our winter weather was cancelled. I was thrilled, as I didn't really feel like spending my Saturday covering plants to protect them.The joke was on me though because I woke up Sunday the 24th to snow. Or rather white flakes that looked like snow but felt, and sounded like ice. Damn.

It's all history now (the ice took it's time melting but a warm 50 degrees on Thursday the 28th got rid of any remaining bits) however a good garden blogger must record these happenings, right? Here's a look around the garden during, and after the event...

One of my Aloe aristata covered with a little ice, some snow, and then a layer of ice.

And mostly melted. I am hopeful this one will be okay.

I'm not feeling so hopeful for this larger leaf version.

It doesn't look happy, poor thing.

Agave ovatifolia

It will be just fine.

I'm not sure about the Agaves that were moved to the stock tanks though.

These are marginal here and I've never left them out in a freezing rain event like this (plus we did hit a low of 23F). Fingers crossed...

And these!

What was I thinking leaving them out? I guess that it was Christmas Eve/Christmas and I had other things on my mind?

I think the Opuntia will be fine.

And probably the larger Agaves too (hopefully), but the smaller ones were already getting mushy as they thawed out.

Snow and ice blanketed the in-ground Agaves. These should all be okay.

The cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) finally met it's match.

And just when it was finally going to flower!

Frozen dish planters...

This Edgeworthia bud is uncharacteristically facing up, which made for a great ice capture and photo opportunity.

Oh poor Echium wildpretii...

We'll see if it pulls out of it.

Things had started to warm up and melt a bit when I took this photo. You can see we didn't get that much coverage.

The official totals for the three days were: snow 1.0″ on December 24th and ice (freezing rain) .31″ on December 24/25th and .08″ on December 26/27th. Agave ovatifolia...

Yucca rostrata

Agave parryi 'JC Raulston'

The ice made for extra shiny pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) leaves.

As we brushed past the plant closest to the driveway a few ice leaves (and sadly real ones too) fell to the ground.

Here's the other plant, in a large container by the front door. Both plants lost all their leaves during last winter's craziness.

In the back garden the Grevillea miqueliana flopped over and then shed it's ice leaves.

It's upright again now though.

The Grevillea australis also flops quite easily. It's not as quick to upright itself though. There will be some pruning done to this one in the spring.

Grevillea x gaudichaudii during...

And after...

Mangave 'Inkblot' trio.

A few of the bottom leaves are already mush but the center seems solid. I will be quite happily surprised if these live on.

Pachystegia insignis

Appears fine...

The stock tank pond...

Last year the ice was too heavy for the Schefflera brevipedunculata and every leaf petiole (is that the right word?) bent at the base and broke.

Thankfully they made it through this one without that happening.

Abutilon 'Nuabyell' never stopped blooming.

But the Musa Bajoo finally deflated.

The Bocconia frutescens leaves are toast (even the green bits are now brown), it should re-leaf out in the spring though...hopefully. Then again it's reportedly hardy only to 25/30F and we did get down to 23, and it's in a container. Damn.

I swear this Bukiniczia cabulica hasn't grown a single leaf since I planted it last spring. At least it's still alive.

The containerized carnivorous plants should be okay. Although their soil may have froze since they're in a small container and hung on a trellis.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Zanzibar' with a Cordyline backer. In cold winters the Cordylines die back to the ground. This is all new growth after last winter's cold.

Salvia apiana looks fine.

But the Euphorbia atropurpurea leaves are a funny color and the stem is a little limp. Ugh. I really wanted to see this one bloom.

That Phormium I bragged about having overwintered successfully in the past? Well the weight of the snow and ice did a number on the leaves, bent is not a good look. Hopefully that's the worst of it though.

There were just a few fruit left hanging on the Poncirus trifoliata pre-winter weather event. They've all fallen to the ground now except this one, which found a nice place to balance in-between the spiky branches.

I'm ready for spring!

Weather Diary, Jan 1: Hi 46, Low 29/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. We had Christmas snow here too, as you probably know. Just frost this morning. I keep checking the weather back east in Boston where my son lives. Their overnight low last night was in the single digits and by Friday it will be in the negative numbers. So glad we don't live there any more.

    1. I remember negative numbers (temperatures) in Spokane. No way I want to go back to that.

  2. Ouch, ouch, ouch! I know unexpected weather like that comes as a blow, especially with all you've already done to protect your plants. I understand that the crappy high pressure system that's preventing us from getting any rain is at least partially responsible for delivering a winter wallop elsewhere. It makes the climate change denials like the that recently came from the current tenant of the White House all the more difficult to take. Some of our elected officials need basic instruction in science and the complexities of climate and weather.

    1. Luckily things are looking pretty good out there even though we were under freezing for a substantial period of time. That's when I get really nervous. Science, who would of thought it would be viewed as fake news by our leaders?

  3. And, lucky me! I was there for the whole thing! Cold and icy. Kept me in the house most of the time we were in town. We almost slid into a telephone pole at Cully and Killingsworth as we were trying to leave town. We ended up in the intersection with the cars on Killingsworth just sitting there looking at us. We went back to our daughter's house for an hour before trying again!

    1. Lucky you! Glad your slide didn't result in worse. Ice is so tricky,

  4. Wow, that freezing rain/ice stuff sure did a number on your plants. Fortunately, we only got snow. It was beautiful but, like you, I'm ready for spring.

    1. For a little while on Christmas Eve I thought we were only going to get fluffy snow. But of course then the ice had to make an appearance. Ugh.

  5. My agaves are being punished by the heat and harsh sun so much that they curled into coocons...

  6. Glad the snow and ice didn’t last long. We had a bit of a similar surprise here too on the 27th, fortunately it didn’t linger either. Little episodes are not as damaging.

  7. Oh, boy. Thoughts of spring for you!

    1. I saw some bulb foliage emerging in a neighbor's garden yesterday. And a couple of my Podophyllum are sticking their noses out of the ground. There's hope!

  8. Oh dear, I'm sorry about the plants that suffered. It is fascinating to see which ones made it through just fine. That ice ball on the Edgeworthia bud is an awesome photo. I hope most of your plants will be just fine.

    1. I think they will be. As the weather people kept predicting high temperatures that didn't materialize it was easy to get discouraged, but now that we've had some "warm" days it's looking pretty good out there.

  9. We got about an inch of snow last night but so little and so light that Mark shoveled the driveway clean. Here it is January and we have not had to use the snow blower as we've had so little snow. I am always just amazed to see your garden under snow and to know that many things will be OK. I think your weather is much more quirky than ours.

  10. Glad your winter weather was short lived. We are in a deep freeze around here.


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