Better say “yes”, because here it comes…ready or not.
This was the scene that greeted us this morning. It was 17 degrees (on the porch, mind you). In 2008 we had a nice insulating blanket of snow before the temperature plunged. We lost some things, but not so many as last year, when the hard freeze came on bare ground. This mere dusting of snow will probably do us very little good.
Hence my recent decision to ignore the common advice about fall being the ideal time to plant. The things I put in the ground in early spring have more than doubled in size, so my hope is that they will have a bit of an edge against the blast of cold. This Carpenteria Californica ‘Elizabeth’ is marginally hardy here.
So she got some special treatment: a winter coat of poly wrapped around a tomato cage.
While we were at it, a frame got built around Rhododendron sinograde. It, too, was then wrapped in plastic, but before we put the lid on, we stuffed it with leaves. Fingers crossed: I would really hate to lose this beauty.
But the Ceanothus x ‘Blue Jeans’ that replaced C. impressus ‘Vandehburg’ after Van bit the dust will just have to man up and rely on a summer’s worth of root system to see it through.
Forewarned, a few days ago we moved all of the pots onto the deck. They are grouped as close as possible to the house to take advantage of any escaping heat, but that 17 degree reading is not encouraging.
Even if we lose some plants, the pots will escape the damage that comes from repeated icing up and thawing. Too many terra cotta pots have been reduced to shards of their former selves by such treatment.
Meanwhile, what better excuse to cozy up with a fire and a good book? I met a friend at Ristretto and she brought me a bouquet of these berried branches. I stopped by Ink & Peat next door to see if they could be identified. Ilex, she said…but that hardly narrows it down enough for the likes of us. Deciduous, obviously, but what about those sherbet-colored berries? If you have any ideas, please tell. Anyhow,
while at I&P I bought the little Swedish wooden sparrow ornament to hang in the branches. It is helping me get in the mood for winter.