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 10, 2019

Our Winter has been Fairly Mild (So Far.)

One mustn't count his chicks before they're hatched and it's certainly possible that cold air could move down from the north sometime during the next couple of months.  However, the long range forecast doesn't predict much in the way of really cold weather so fingers are crossed that the mild temperatures will continue.  Come take a look at some of the surprises in the garden.  Note, these shots were all taken outside, not in the greenhouse.

While most of the Tetrapanax leaves have fallen, the buds have remained erect.  If the mercury doesn't take a dive, will these buds bloom come spring?

While most of the podophyllum both in the ground and in pots have long since turned to mush, this one brave soul in a sheltered corner remains green.

Pelargonium blooms in January?

This hardy begonia remained green last winter as well. 

While the taller Musa basjoo (hardy banana) has a bit of brown around the edges of the foliage, these smaller and a bit more sheltered ones seem to think it's still summer.

While the Tillandsia usneoides hung in the trees doesn't look quite as green as that inside, it doesn't look dead either. 

Begonia 'Gene Daniels'  was left outside after I took a cutting to winter over.  Perhaps next year I'll have to give this one away.

Same with  Begonia luxurians.    

Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' (Variegated Shell Ginger)   is supposed to be root hardy here but I've never seen it in the ground in a garden here.  Cold?  What cold?

Elegia capensis is putting out new shoots.  What's up with that? 

Tropaeolum speciosum


Pineapple sage, usually an annual, seems to like this warmish spot outside the greenhouse. 

 Tricyrtis, what part of  Herbaceous perennial don't you understand?  Not that I'm complaining, your foliage is lovely.

Begonia pedatifida started sprouting new leaves last winter that were cut down by a week of freezing temperatures.  It came back just fine and now wants to remain green this winter. 

Flower buds on the passion vine?  Sure, why not?

The smaller Osmunda regalis in the front garden changed color and died back a month or two ago.  This one, not so much.

Biggest surprise?  A brugmansia flower.  
So, while the gray skies can be a bit much, I'll take that nice protective blanket of clouds that keeps us from freezing, at least for a couple more months.   The plants certainly don't seem to mind.  How's winter treating your garden this year?


  1. Toad lilies and ferns and Begonias outdoors in January! Hope they don't realize what time of year it really is.

  2. Yep, things are similar around here, although my Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' did get a little freeze damage on the leaves and my Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' leaves also got zapped, but the trunk is fine. No Passiflora buds, although the foliage (even of the Zone 10 plants) looks fine. Freaky...

  3. Signs to warm your heart during your cold winter months. Never fear: Spring is coming!

  4. Will keep my fingers crossed you don't get any cold weather. In the frozen Canadian prairies we are having similar conditions. Had Colchicums blooming just before New Years. Just hoping winter doesn't descend in March instead.

  5. I don't miss snow and ice at all, and neither do our gardens. But in the back of my mind I think global warming; that tarnishes my joy a little. I can't believe Pelargonium or Begonia would survive our winter outside, even as mild as it has been.

  6. Your garden looks plumb happy with the weathers. My garden is too. I don't have near the plants you do because we have had regular freezes but there has only been one prolonged cold spell, in November no less, that put everything to sleep but we are now getting more normal winter temps. It will keep everything sleepy here.

  7. That's kinda awesome. The begonias I took inside here look much worse than the ones you have just sitting around in the garden. Not bad at all!
    We are definitely into the indoor season now ;)

  8. Your green leaves and blooms that should be dormant just show how your garden breaks the rules! My garden is on the border of zones 7b/8a. We have already had hard frost and even a little snow. Weather is actually unpredictable, with warm days colliding with freezing temps within hours. Plants are always confused. Me, too!

  9. I wonder, too, if this balmy winter will last. We are back into the 50's again with some sun for the weekend. You could work in your garden!

  10. We are having freezing temperatures at the moment, so flowers are on hold for a while or slowing down if they are already flowering. You certainly have lots of lovely growth in your garden, hope Jack Frost keeps away!

  11. You're having a very green winter.


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