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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Death is Noting to Us

 
Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.
-Epicurus
 
In my garden there are some predictable deaths and some surprise survivals after our recent freeze. 
 
With  the exception of 'Red Fountain,' all cordylines  potted or in the ground that weren't dragged inside are compost. 
 Psudopanax laetus that never found a spot in the ground seems to have survived.  It lost some leaves but overall looks like it will survive.  It's earned a place in the ground.  Now where is there space?

Just a few new leaves at the top of Schefflera taiwaniana got burned.
 Agave parryi  'J.C. Raulston' got too much water and cold.  It's only partly dead and is now in rehab drying out.

I'm not sure what to think of Acacia pravissima.  It was planted last year in an exposed spot just right for its small size.  It didn't die last winter as I thought it would and grew kind of large for the spot.

If it survives, it should probably be allowed to stay, right? 

We'll call this mostly dead.  I could have dragged it in but there's only so much time and space.   I'm pretty sure that it'll come back from the roots in a year or two. 

Rhodocoma caphensis seems to like this sheltered spot close to the house.  perhaps it's time to get rid of the Parahebe perfoliata planted with it.  The plan was for R.C. to grow up straight and tall and the Parahebe to trail down the sides of the pot.  I suppose I could stake one and tie little stones to the end of the other but I'm  too lazy for that sort of thing.

Sailing through with aplomb in a 6 inch pot with no protection is Magnolia laevifolia.  Another reason to love this little sweetie!

This fern has turned brown in warmer winters and yet sailed through this freeze.  Maybe it had something to do with water. 

The jury's still out on Crinodendron hookerianum.  I sure love their sweet pink lantern flowers and hope that at least one of my two pulls through.

Protea subvestita was left outside in it's pot on purpose to see if it could survive.  Some of the upper leaves look pretty good.  We shall see what happens.


Surprisingly Eucalyptus nicholii, looks fine.  I've had large specimens of this growing in my parking strip that were frozen to the ground in other years.  They come back from the roots once but if frozen a second year give up the ghost.  Anyway, this little one made it through in a pot with no problem. 

Life is strange and wonderful! Death happens. 

28 comments:

  1. I'm resigned to this as well. Things aren't looking too good around here for the borderline hardies. It's foggy out so I'm not going take stock yet. I'll think about that tomorrow when it's 73F and sunny.

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    1. 73 and sunny sounds dreamy! It is better to have love and lost...

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  2. I have a Cordyline inside that seems to be dying, I have no idea why. I repotted it just before bringing it in, so maybe it doesn't like its new pot. Its leaves are drying up, even though I've watered. Or maybe that's normal behavior for inside. But I have two others that are thriving. Plants sure are confusing.

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    1. They ARE confusing, especially in the winter!

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  3. With over forty years of gardening, and growing on the edge plants, like eucalyptus, since the early 1980's, I could not tell with many plants what lived or what died from events like we just had until the warm days of spring. With the National Weather Service predicting another colder than normal spring for the PNW, it might not be until June before we know what lived, or what is a walking (growing) dead plant.
    John (Aberdeen) & Issaquah

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    1. I'm hoping that the National Weather Service is wrong! You are correct that we really can't tell until the weather warms up but it's fun to make preliminary predictions. Thanks for finding my blog and commenting John!

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  4. After reading Johns comment above (colder than normal spring for the PNW) I've gone and completely forgotten everything I was going to say. (COLDER!!! we don't want that). Ah yes..that Pseudopanax laetus I think there's room for it here in your Portland garden annex! I'm sure I've asked you before but where did you find it? I want one! Glad to see so much still looking good in your garden. It seems everyday I'm discovering something new that's not looking good...

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    1. Say it's not so! We need a warm spring to get those bananas that were frozen to the ground growing quickly again! I got Pseudopanax laetus at Watson's nursery in a Monrovia pot and like it but think it would look better in the Portland garden annex so will bring it down sometime or if you'd like I could bring it to the NWFGS. It needs a better home, maybe a place in the ground.

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    2. You are a kind friend but I don't think you're done with it yet!

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    3. Just looked at it again today and think that maybe it's done with me so maybe my offer was for a pot of soil with some dead sticks in it. Time will tell.

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  5. Forget the plants, I don't think I could survive the heartbreak delivered by your cold winters...

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    1. The heartbreak is delivered by a gardener in zone 8 deciding that he should be able to grow zones 9 and 10 plants. Sticking with plants hardy in one's zone is a sure way to avoid losing plants.

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  6. Keep the Cycas revoluta where it is for now, I reckon the leaves are only burnt but the caudex is still alive and could flush in the spring. Well done on the Pseudopanax laetus, to have that sail through is something to celebrate, a cheer after a hard freeze :)

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    1. Pseudopanax could just be dying beautifully. We'll see what June brings. You're right about the Cycas. I had one years ago that I got rid of too soon only to find it putting out a flush of leaves in the compost heap.

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  7. All the latin names make me google my head off all morning. I learn so much about the huge variety in your garden. I love the potted fern: plant & garden-art combo always appeal to me. My biggest surprise was the Protia, the national flower of South Africa, here in the PNW south sound. Where did you get it? How long did you have it? Did it bloom?

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    1. This is one of the hardy Protias but I have a few that I drag inside in the winter. The Desert Northwest in Sequim carries quite a few varieties of these. You can visit the nursery by appointment I think and Ian, the owner brings his plants to a lot of plant sales. If you want anything specific, he's happy to bring whatever you want to the sales. I've not had mine long enough for them to bloom.

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  8. I'm seeing more success than failure in this post, so I guess you won't have lots of new openings to fill after all.

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    1. Somehow that doesn't keep me from buying new plants. Crazy!

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  9. I agree it really is too soon to really know what has survived and what hasn't.

    I'm in a weird little cold sink on the wrong side of Phinney ridge. I've had to get tough with myself when it comes to borderline hardy things. I no longer plant anything that isn't hardy to zone 7 in the ground. Plants have a structural role to play in my garden that they can't play if they're killed to the ground every year. Pots, I can have more fun with.

    That Acacia is very cool. It's a keeper.

    Deirdre

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    1. It would be better to only plant plants hardy in one's zone and each year I tell myself that I will only buy plants that have some interest year round (or are just too spectacular in one season to live without) and that are fully hardy here. But then some incredible leaf will call my name from across a crowded nursery and all bets are off.

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    2. Plant lust. i know it well.

      Deirdre

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  10. Many of your plants are looking good so far. If they were in my yard south of you but at a higher altitude, they probably would all have been toast. One year I lost all my Hydrangeas. Last year I planted one hardy to zone 4, so hopefully it is a keeper. I try to find things hardy to zone 5 or 6. I planted quite a few of the newer Hellebores last year and went out to see how they are doing, the fancy ones with the outward facing flowers seem to be mostly toast.;-(

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    1. Usually hellebores can take quite a bit before they give up the ghost. Maybe, like Monty Python's parrot, they're just sleeping. Happy Friday (almost.)

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  11. Ooh! I hope the Crinodendron makes it! I love them, but haven't been brave enough to try one. Maybe someday, when I can have my own garden (soon-to-be grad student, hopefully) and it isn't a frost pocket like my parents' garden, I'll bite the Chilean bullet. Until then, it's potted plants for me, and gardening during the occasional visit to my parents.

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    1. Where and what will you be studying, Evan? An exciting time to be sure but I remember gardening at my parents' place and dreaming of my own garden someday. It'll happen.

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  12. Home Depot had a really good price on large Sago's this fall, so I bought one and had every intention to get in the ground ASAP, but it did not happen, so it is a houseplant now. As cold as it got here this week, I think my procrastination saved its life.

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    1. Another triumph for procrastination! Glad that your Sago looks better than mine!

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  13. Sorry for your losses, but the damage doesn't look too bad. One advantage you have over us is that we don't know what's dead until spring.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.