THIS WINTER IS REALLY TESTING my patience. First it was snow, which made driving down my hill next to impossible. Then extreme, record-breaking low temperatures that was injurious to plants and caused prolonged automobile navigational challenges. And now it's incessant fog. Cold fog. Barely-above-freezing-fog. I don't mind a day or two of it but when it goes on and on, day after day, it gets depressing. Yes, I'm a total weather-whiner.
|You can see here, beyond the fence how the fog hovers, shrouding the landscape.|
Since the beginning of the cold snap on December 6th, when we received 8 inches of snow, followed by a week of single-digit low temperatures, I've been keeping vigil on my plants. A few came indoors, a few received special covering but most were forced to fend for themselves and endure the elements. My initial assessment after things warmed up was that I was lucky, very little damage.
I've been reading with keen interest Xera Plants, Inc. owner Paul Bonine's comments on Facebook. Paul lives and gardens in Portland and his nursery specializes in exotic plants that are relatively new to Pacific Northwest garden commerce and haven't been through the challenges of a severe winter. He is surprised at how well these plants have fared in both Portland and Eugene (100 miles south of Portland which had a record-breaking low of -9 degrees F one night).
One of the points Paul made is that it takes awhile for cold damage to manifest. I believe he's right because at first many of my plants looked fine. However as time goes on I'm seeing foliage discoloration on some plants.
|Case in point: Feijoa sellowiana looked really nice immediately following the cold-snap.|
|Today's photo shows a little more discoloration in the foliage--a sign of cold damage.|
|The foliage from my Sweet Gum trees continues to litter the area...|
|Cotonaster lacteus looked slightly discolored then but look at it now. Yikes!|
|Probably the worst I've ever seen this plant in the 13 years I've had it.|
|Eucalyptus nicholli also looked just fine after the warm up. Now it is darker and more purplish.|
|I just hope if it does die back, the tree will come back from the roots.|
|Grevillea rosemarinfolia has also taken a turn towards the worse.|
|Daphne odora looks really bad.|
|Fortunately the emerging buds look viable.|
|Hebe 'Saphire' would be dead if I didn't have it planted so close to the house.|
|Same goes for Hebe 'Amy'|
|My evergreen blueberry, (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Sunshine Blue’)|
looks a lot worse now. Again, viable buds though.
|I can see Escallonia x exoniensis ‘Pink Princess’ from my|
kitchen window. It's gotten progressively worse.
|Usually the foliage is bright green. Now it's a gray-brown.|
|On the bright side, Loropetalum looks okay.|
|Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) looks great.|
|Drimys in a pot, looks okay. It turned this reddish color last winter too.|
|My Fatsia japonica is 16 years old and weathered several inhospitable winters.|
|My 10 year old Pittosporum tobira ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’ is completely unscathed.|
|Rosemary looking sad.|
|I'm not sure if this is Euphorbia robbiae or an Azalea.|
|I'm sure it's root-hardy and will recover but, like so many plants, it took a hit.|
The weather guy says the New Year is going to open exactly the way the old one closes, with fog. Oh joy. Okay, enough of my whining. To those of you who are dealing with really severe winter weather, I'm thinking of you. Spring, come quickly.