Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The State of Things

Hi Guys! I've been so busy with work and projects (and yada, yada) that I've neglected visiting the awesome blogs of my gardening friends. If you're one of them, please except my sincerest apologies. I'm going to make a point of getting around this week. I'm also going to get my bulbs planted. Hold me to both, okay? 

So the state of things. I took some photos yesterday. I purchased this very cool Hart's Tongue Fern last spring. I already have one in the garden but this one looked so perfect and the price was like $4 so it (and a bunch of other plants) came home with me. 

Hart's Tongue Fern Aspenium scolopendrium

I can't get enough of this Nandina. The foliage is so beautiful and will remain this way until the new foliage emerges next spring.
Nandina domestica 'Wood's Dwarf'
The photo below should give you an indication of what the state of things have been in my garden. The 25 degree F reading is the low temperature for Sunday night. Fortunately it's back in the 40s now. While many plants did just fine, there are a few that are looking pretty sad. 

One of my projects has been to organize and file the bazillion photos I've taken this year. I set aside a few of them to do a little "before and after" segment I'm calling, 

"Before and After." 

Musa basjoo -- BEFORE the temperature dip.

Musa basjoo -- After the temperature dip. Sad. And a tiny bit scary.

Variegated Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold') -- Before

After... Slugs enjoy Comfrey as evidenced by the tooth marks.

Elephant Ears (Colocasia sp.) -- Before

And now. The upside is that the neighboring Geranium palmatum foliage looks okay.
The plant didn't flower for me this past summer so I'm hoping it will winter-over and bloom next year.

Bear's Breeches (Acanthus mollis) -- Before

Acanthus -- After. But it will recover in a few days.

Tetrapanax -- Before

Tetrapanax -- Now. Eeegads! 

The wet blanket plant.
(Side note: If you look closely, you can see that the English Laurel
is about half of what it once was. More on that in a future post.)

But things aren't too terrible in the garden, all things considered. Here's a few more random garden photos. 
The burgundy stems of a variegated shrub dogwood.
Cornus alba 'Argenteovariegata'

Between the stems and other plant detritus, you can see a frozen pond.

Last weekend we had sunshine. My Melianthus was soaking up.

Rosa 'Cinco de Mayo' -- a valiant effort.

Ditto for Rosa 'Carefree Spirit'

A sea of Japanese Maple Leaves...

The 'Polish Spirit' Clematis (on the far left) still has green leaves.

And so does Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'

Oops! Somebody forgot to protect the Digiplexis!

But I did get all of these guys moved under the patio.
And finally...
Winter's Simple Pleasures...

Take care and keep warm!


  1. I like the long shots of your garden. Even though many plants are dormant or gone, the bones of your garden are pleasant and earthy. Happy December, Grace.

  2. Ouch! Those after photos are tough to look at but there is something to be said for the fresh start you get from deciduous and herbaceous plants in the spring in colder climates than mine. However, for your sake, I hope you get a mild winter.

  3. Hi Grace! The 'After' pictures are sad, but also surprising, because those poor plants will come back to life again in spring! Sleep well Grace's botanical garden!

  4. Love your before and after photos!

  5. Hahahaha, the before and afters are great!

  6. Great before and after photos. I need to go through all my photos (and not just from this summer) and organize them somehow, too. It's a mess trying to look for something from months or years ago. Suddenly I'm not as sad that I lost most of my pictures several years ago. Makes the job smaller. I need to do another evaluation of my garden now that we've had a hard freeze.

  7. I would not turn my back on that Musa basjoo-:) Not that or the Tetrapanax. Scary is the word! I've been using row cover to try and protect things with only marginal success. The wind in combo with those temps really does it, huh? My husband devised a clever plan for the lemon trees in the greenhouse: he hangs a 20 volt "shop" light from the pot of the tree--you know those bright orange plastic kind?...and then covers the tree with a see-through row cover. There is just enough heat from that lamp to keep the lemons cozy without spending a fortune heating a whole greenhouse. Roses--bless their hearts, how I love roses.

  8. Love your hart's tongue fern. It looks beautiful in a pot like that! It's kind of sad when the frost takes out so much foliage but fortunately, our winters aren't too long and spring will bring the joy of new and fresh growth. In the meantime, we can be thankful for the simple joys of winter in the PNW!

  9. Isn't it sad when frost comes to visit your garden? It makes me want to cry, especially because it invariably warms up after that, and I know darn well that everything could have lived for a few more weeks!

  10. Je viens de visiter quelques articles sur votre blog, c'est magnifique. Ça donne plein d'idées de voir tous vos plants et mises en scène de votre jardin. Bravo à vous.

  11. You're very brave to show the after. Most of us...well just can't do that. Oh what is the last plant called that you posted ? I'll be needing something for my latest project. Thanks Patsi

  12. Hate to post a link but I don't know what these are called but do know their succulents. I have excess now so I will start with them.

    Thanks Grace


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