Friday, March 2, 2018

What the garden looks like, at the beginning of March

Let's take a break from sightseeing in Paris and see what's going on here in Portland, I haven't shared an overall look at the state of the garden in months...

This crazy blueberry (probably Pink Icing™) hung on to it's leaves over winter. Sure we only got down to 23F but still...

The bulbs I got from John Scheepers are all coming up! These are the Rococo Tulip...

And I think these are the Little Princess species Tulips, unless they're Little Beauty, I may have forgotten what I put where.

Snow's all gone! Thank god.

Schefflera brevipedunculata has recovered with no broken leaves. Last year I thought this one was a goner when the snow and ice piled up and bent every leaf to the point of breaking.

The Passiflora 'Sunburst' volunteer still has a little green on it's stem! This is the orange flowering plant that's rated hardy to USDA Zone 10, but a little bit of root growing right next to the house has come back every year, even after last winter's 14F.

The hardy banana, Musa Basjoo, was pushing out new leaves before last week's cold snap. Not so happy now.

The blooming Hakea epiglottis has opened even more flowers. Such a cool plant.

This Lupinus albifrons pushed right on through last winter. It seems none too happy this year. I hope I don't lose it.

Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ is starting to flower.

And Euphorbia stygiana has survived! (not so for Euphorbia atropurpurea which is a gooey mess)

Grevillea miqueliana, oh how I love thee!

Ditto for Magnolia laevifolia, and it's fuzzy brown buds.

The seeds of my Trachycarpus fortunei were still green until last week's cold snap, now they're blue. Weird, right?

Zone 9 winter!!! Grevillea 'Ivanhoe' lives on, although my second plant did get a bit of foliar burn.

The Anigozanthos flavidus from Xera (rumored to be one of the hardiest Kangaroo Paws) looks bad, but who knows, it might still be alive.

Aloe striatula looks good.

And Agave montana 'Baccarat' looks flawless.

I should have taken a photo of my Grevillea australis last week — when it was flattened under a few inches of heavy snow. This thing is almost as dramatic a flopper as the bamboo. Just when I think it's time to get rid of it then these lovely little buds start to appear. I pruned a lot of material off it last year to get it in shape, I can see it's going to happen again this year.

Speaking of the bamboo it's mostly righted itself again. Although the Sasa (big leaf, on the far left) is going to have to get trimmed, it's still leaning over too much patio real estate. Oh and speaking of the patio, that "winter patina" will go away once it warms up and dries out a bit.

The same for the "green wall," a few dry days and it won't be nearly so green.

This little Tetrapanax leaf never dropped last fall, it's now starting to grow.

The bark started to crack a few months ago on the Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Sentinel’ I cut down last summer but kept as sculpture. I have no idea how long it will take to completely fall off, or what it will look like when it's gone.

But it's a fun experiment...

These brave Podophyllum pleianthum started pushing out of the soil (they're in a stock tank) in January. I covered them up good before the cold snap and luckily they're fine. I think the leaves are a little smaller though. Is that possible, they shrunk a bit? Maybe they're just a little cold still.

How many palm trees do you count? There are four, only three of them are mine however. The fourth (the tallest) is the neighbor's tree.

Veratrum californicum, emerging.

Out front things are doing well, but a little sunshine would make this such a happier scene!. Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths' (far left) lost a lot of flowers with the cold and snow, but there are still plenty left for the hummingbirds. A few of the Opuntia are deflated (their reaction to the cold), I hope they right themselves without breaking off. The tall sticks on the far right are Tetrapanax trunks.

My moon carrot (Seseli gummiferum or Seseli libanotis? suddenly I am confused) has died back to this. I hope it makes a surge forward with spring, I was looking forward to it's crazy blooms.

Erica arborea var. alpina, with a Brachyglottis greyi background.

A better gardener would have gotten those Arctostaphylos flowers out of the Agaves already. I am a slacker.

Just when I think I have the brown leaves from the neighbor's trees all cleaned up, then a few more blow in.

Aloe aristata report! This is the original, that made it through last winter, with protection.

This is the large leaf form. It got frost cloth and a overturned pot for last week's cold and snow, however it was completely exposed for the Christmas go-around. Looks pretty good, considering...

And this one is almost flawless!

It has a nice overhang of Grevillea rivularis to protect it though.

Oh the poor suffering Echium wildpretii, I think it's gonna pull through.

Hopefully this one will too.

Agave parryi 'Notorious RBG' (my made up name, purchased at the Ruth Bancroft Garden with no tag) is looking fine. Although there's one brown, mushy, leaf on the bottom.

Agave montanta, planted last spring, looks fab.

And the Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' are on fire!

(sorry, this blog post is getting really long...) A volunteer Verbascum that's looking a little beat up. I should cut back those older leaves. This first appeared as a tiny seedling in 2015, hopefully it will bloom this summer.

Ugh. What a sad sight! The trio of Mangave 'Inkblot' are not looking their best after what winter has thrown at them. They're definitely still alive though, a little warm  (dare I say sunny?) weather would work some magic I'm sure.

Speaking of alive, I did the fingernail test and there's still some green under the bark on my Bougainvillea × buttiana 'Barbara Karst' — could it be? She's supposedly hardy to 20-25F, and we've been down to 23, but she is in a container, which reduces hardiness. It seems unlikely a Bougainvillea would live through a Portland winter, but then again, you never know!

Gotta give a shout-out to the Agave ovatifolia and Euphorbia rigida combo.

And look, more emerging bulb success! This Allium schubertii.

Pachystegia insignis looks like it will live to see another summer.

Echium russicum is starting to wake up, I need to pull off all that ugly old foliage!

This one is supposedly a biennial or short lived perennial. I've had my plants since 2011 or 12 and they're still going strong.

Wow, you made it to the end! Your reward is a lovely Salvia apiana, or maybe that's my reward. Either way, happy March!

Weather Diary, March 1: Hi 50, Low 38/ Precip .04"

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


  1. Happy March indeed. What a difference a winter makes. A remarkable difference from last year. Arctostaphylos flowers look cute in the agave; did you figure out a good vacuum for this chore? I love the transformation of the Arctostaphylos bark; seem to still have some form of 'life' in it.

    1. Not really (vaccuum for the chore). I did buy a small small hand held which is pretty good. I wish it had reverse though, so it could blow out.

  2. I still have a dried seedhead from Allium shubertii that is years' old -- you're going to love it, and the bulb will probably return next year for you. So great to have a glimpse of the DG, which looks to be sailing through winter. We're having a "Portland" day today, with steady rain, but nothing to turn walls green! Have a great weekend.

  3. You've got so much going on in spite of the curveball the weather threw at you. I'm floored that you can grow Hakea epiglottis. I guess it is the hardiest hakea... And all your grevilleas!!

    I have major rot on two agaves: my prized 'Snow Glow' (pretty much gone) and even A. ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'. I have no idea what's going on there...

    1. Oh no! I am sorry to hear that Gerhard. I have a few Agave arms I need to amputate, and I did have to toss some of the plants that were left in the driveway stock tanks during the Christmas freeze.

  4. I love your garden, Loree! And that little Passiflora that keeps on truckin' is just the best :-)

  5. Looking good for March! All of a sudden during that week of snow I suddenly started wishing I'd planted Trachycarpus here. I might need to find a few spots to slip them into. It got cold enough here that the little leaves hanging onto my tetrapanx all died, and the snow and cold flattened/killed some of the emerging fronds on my Adiantum venustum. But not all, and they're already sending up more. My biggest Woodwardia unigemmata had a couple fronds starting to uncurl that turned to mush, but the mature fronds and the center are fine.

    1. Trachycarpus are actually one of the fun snow plants, their leaves look good with a dusting and it does them no harm (no leaning or breaking branches). I vote you get a couple.

  6. Ooooh, your Salvia apiana...nice. I need to find a few of those. I hope all of your lovelies bounce back from the cold snap. What a nasty trick that was, giving us an early spring then frying it all. My Podophyllum looks smaller too, by the way.

    1. I got my S. apiana at Blooming Junction. I expect to loose it in our next really cold winter, but I'm loving it until then. So Podophyllum's a thing!?

  7. Your garden is full of treasures and they mostly look happy and healthy despite the big chill, especially the agaves! I'm going to try leaving more outside next winter.

  8. This was a great look around at your garden, warts and all (well, untrimmed foliage and all). I've done very little cutting back in my garden too. That Ascot Rainbow looks so good! Once again I'm reminded that this year I really should get my Agave montana in the ground.

    1. I need to finish pulling the Hakonechloa...that stuff gets really messy fast once it starts detaching on it's own.

  9. Given your weather things look quite good. But maybe that is just because I am so unfamiliar with your plants. We are having nice weather and good temps but our last frost is in May so I am just trying to stay calm. Though I did spend an hour this afternoon picking up fallen branches and locust pods. Felt lovely!

    1. Last frost in May!?! Wow. That requires some serious patience.

  10. All things considered, I think your garden is very resilient. Believe it or not, I actually lost a plant to the cold here this year, a noID Stapelia.

  11. Well, your garden looks significantly better than mine at the moment, all zones considered ! My 'winter-interest' planting is not impressive. Oh your poor Mangave 'Inkblot' !

    1. Ya, I'm glad I left them (the Mangaves) so I'd know how they perform. It will be interesting to see if/how fast they bounce back.

  12. I didn't realize that Hakea epiglottis had such cute little blooms!I will have to venture out in my garden tomorrow to see how mine is doing. Love the pictures.

  13. More gentle winter this year. Good for you. How long has your 'Austin Griffiths' been in the ground? It's grown quite a lot--same for the Yucca rostrata in the back. They look great.

  14. OMG...I'm kind of obsessed with the bark on the cut-down Manzanita's amazing!


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