Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Eight months of Mondays in the garden (Part Two)

If you missed Monday's post you'll want to go read that introduction, so you understand what I'm up to with this series. Today we have three different views to cover so this is the most photo heavy of the week's posts. Let's dive in...

The first set of photos taken is with my back to the orange wall shown in Monday's post. I'm looking south and a little west. The brown wall is our garage and of course you see the shade pavilion on the right. October 9th...

October 24th, the Magnolia macrophylla is dropping leaves and the shade pavilion greenhouse walls are up.

November 6th, containers are migrating into the "greenhouse" and there are many more fallen leaves, with more to fall...

November 14th, panels are in place to keep the in-ground agaves dry (I do not do this in the front garden, just in the back). I chose to leave the 3 dish planters (far right) in place for the winter to see how they did... 

December 6th, grey skies, leaves have fallen and been cleaned up, winter is being kind at this point.

January 1st, the New Year, so green!

January 17th. The white that looks like snow is actually ice, graupel and a bit of snow. It was slicker than, yes, snot (apologies if you've not heard that one before).

January 22nd, yes the dish planters stayed in place all through the storm. I'd discovered mealy bugs on a couple of the plants in there and didn't want to risk putting them in a protected spot with other plants. They quickly turned to mush.

February 5th, dish planter plants tossed, dishes cleaned, repurposed as moss holders for a bit. The airy plant in front of the poly panel is a Lomatia tinctoria that's gone black (yes, it should be green).

March 5th, left to right; the "evergreen" Metapanax delavayi (above the garage window) has dropped nearly all it's leaves, I've begun cutting back the lomatia, and the palm leaves that were damaged in the cold wind are slowly being removed. I wanted to cut them all immediately, but leaving them helps the plant recover and push out new leaves.

March 11th, the first of the protective panels came down. I wanted to get in there and remove rotting agaves. The panels were to keep the plants dry, but the duration of below freezing temps did most of them in. 

You can see I also had started buying new plants and plopping them in places, the dish planters have been removed and I've placed new rusty dish planters against the garage.

March 18th, we must have had a dry spell if the hose is out, the second set of polycarbonate panels has also been removed.

March 25th, plants are starting to trickle out of the shade pavilion greenhouse, the rusty color in the fern planting at the base of the garage is new growth of the Adiantum venustum, Himalayan maidenhair.
April 15th and the garage-side ferns have grown into their bright spring green and the podophyllum are up around the base of the big-leaf magnolia.

April 29th, the shade pavilion greenhouse walls are down!

May 13th, it's hard to see, but I've finally planted the new plants on the bottom right of the photo, and the empty sky is once again covered in leaves from our magnolia and the neighbor's trees.

May 27th, there is furniture on the patio again!

June 4th, yes that is a big bowl of bromeliads. I'll share more photos and talk about why it's there in a future post.

The next view, looking west towards the patio, October 9th (I have no idea what the strange green at the base of the Nolina 'La Siberica' is, a digital error?).

October 24th, shade pavilion greenhouse walls up, more magnolia leaves down.

November 6th, even more leaves. The patio furniture has gone into storage (the garage) for the winter.

November 14, panels in place to keep the agaves dry.

December 6th, green but kinda desolate. Of course when I look at this photo now I'm blown away by the lush mahonia and aspidistra directly ahead of the patio pathway. They won't look this good again ever, because...

January 17th. Bamboo drama! It will stand upright again, but many culms will loose all their leaves over the coming months.

January 22nd. The beginning of the downward spiral.

January 29th, the epimedium on the left (ground level) have gone brown. There are many years I never bother to remove the old foliage because it looks good even as the new growth appears.

February 19th, epimedium cut back, but the blue sky feels promising, even as the bamboo starts to drop it's dead leaves.

March 25th the Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' on the far right side has lost a lot of leaves, which combined with the browning bamboo has the neighbor's garage (whitish wall) looking very exposed over the top of the fence.

April 15th, new growth from the podophyllum, epimedium and Syneilesis aconitifolia on the left.

May 6th, shade pavilion walls down and containers on the patio!

May 20th, the patio is in full swing with furniture again.

May 27th, although it's been going on for weeks, this photo really shows Clifford's—Magnolia macrophylla—leaf explosion. 

June 6th, the last of this view.

October 16th, the north end of the lower back garden. Several containers have already been moved in for the season, but a few remain. I'm awed by the dense canopy of foliage as it doesn't look this green currently (as I write on June 9th) thanks to the winter storm.

October 24th, everything that can move, has moved (for the winter)

November 6th, the winter cover is in place over the potted Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'—an attempt to keep it dry and thus more able to deal with cold temps.

November 11th, leaves all cleaned up, things looking tidy.

January 8th, I've been thinking of winter covers for a few things, as I know what's on the horizon.

January 17th, it's here. This was absolute hell for the gardener (me!). We were below freezing for over 150 hours with a low of 12F. Extreme cold, fierce wind, sleet, and ice all added up to horrible conditions not experienced in Portland since a storm back in 1990.

January 22nd, it's over. The Stachyurus salicifolius (upper right hand side) is already turning brown and loosing it's leaves.

February 5th, the stachyurus continues to brown up and the bamboo isn't looking great, otherwise you might not be able to tell things were hit.

March 25th, the Agave ovatifolia is opened to the air. I was thrilled to inspect it and discover no damage. The overall canopy of green is looking sparse.

April 1st, Clifford's bare stems are not something I see on the patio too often.

April 22nd, Clifford is starting to leaf out, and the containers are starting to appear on the patio.

May 13th, the containers are still kind of plopped in place, as we were away for a visit to Spokane for Mother's day and I hadn't taken the time to arrange them.

May 20th, containers arranged and furniture in place.

June 4th, things looking wet as we'd just had a downpour. That's it for today, we'll continue the series on Friday with two more views.

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  1. AnonymousJune 12, 2024

    The icy photos are bone chilling. You were brave to go out into the garden and photograph it for these series, risking a fall.
    In the first two collections of today's post, there is a plant that stands out for me on the right hand side. I don't know it by name, I'll describe it as grassy pineapple (with apologies...), but it seems unfazed by the catastrophic weather around it. Definitely the winner in my book.

    1. We have a pair of cleats that stretch over the bottom of your shoes, that is the only way I was able to get outside (semi) safely. I think maybe you're referring to the Nolina hibernica 'La Siberica'? ( it is a superstar thru all the weather! The ice did make small marks on the foliage but it will outgrow that. (I will forever think of it as a grassy pineapple now!)

  2. It's too bad you can't wipe January from the calendar but then I guess the timing of winter's wrath is unpredictable in your part of the country. Did you vary the timing of your weekly photos? The changes in the quality of light from one week to another struck me when viewing this set of photos.

    1. Seriously! If the storm has not happened my garden would be a very different place now. Re: the timing of my photos; I'm sure there was wide variation, although most of them were taken when I'd head out to pull the trash, yard waste and recycling containers out of the garage for weekly collection somewhere in the 11am realm. I think what you're seeing though is the vast difference of sun angle, lack of sun (cloudy sky) and leaves on the trees, or not. All of those are very strong contributors to the quality of light.

  3. You've got me on pins and needles...did Fatsia polycarpa make it? What about stachyurus? I saw that the metapanax leafed out again, whew! And I was wondering about that potted whale's tongue agave with the winter protection, if the water didn't wick up from the ground through the drainhole? Apparently not, it looks pristine -- a win! The new bromeliad dish really shows your method, how it pulls together a new planting.

    1. The fatsia, stachyurus and metapanax are all looking good now, thank goodness. As for the agave, I am sure roots growing through the drain hole is about the only way it gets any water these days since the top of the container itself is in accessible under the plant. I just wanted to keep all that rain (ice) from collecting in the leaves. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the bromeliad dish!

  4. The winter started off so incredibly mild, still a shocker to see the ice. I agree with Chavli, the grassy pineapple really looks good ALL THE TIME.

    1. Big cheers for the grassy pineapple! (Nolina hibernica 'La Siberica')

  5. November 6th, still my favorite. I want to gather up a big pile of Clifford leaves and sit in them with a nice hot Mexican mocha, warm blanket, and a good book. I know as a gardener it is hard not to focus in on the losses, but I am amazed at the number of things that did bounce back even after 150 hours (that's 9000 minutes) of 12F.

    1. Hey come over next autumn, bring a Mexican mocha, and you can live out that fantasy!


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