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sprig to twig » weather

Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

snow day

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Phlomus russeliana

There’s nothing like a snowfall to bring out the photogenic side of a garden that was beginning to slip into a dowdy phase. The seed heads of Phlomus russeliana are always fetching, but they take on an especially jaunty air with caps of snow.

Phlomus russeliana closer

So cute, in fact, that I couldn’t stop at just one photo.

Poncirus trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’

I featured Poncirus trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’ in the last post, but its quirky tracery of twisted branches really shows up against the snow.

‘Thunderhead’ pine

It has been so cold that the snow is dry and light. I can just enjoy the way it nestles into the ‘Thunderhead’ pine instead of worrying about it weighing down the branches.

NOID Yucca

The NOID Yucca from Ryan seems to be sailing through the cold snap.

snow on the grass

It was a mere two inches of snow: not enough to even out the surface where it fell on rough grass. It almost looks like clouds as seen from above.

bottle garden with autumn fern

The bottle garden pretty much disappears during the high season, but here it catches the light and is set off by just the snow and an autumn fern.

rock cairns with snow

Even my silly little cairns acquire an aura of mystery when partly hidden by snow.

Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’ in bud

This is about as far along as the blooming trusses of Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’ have ever progressed before being blackened by a freeze.

Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’ buds wrapped

This year we had plenty of warning, so I wrapped the trusses in bubble wrap, covered with a plastic bag and secured with a rubber band. I read somewhere that bubble wrap is not a good insulator for pots. Any thoughts on that?

Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’ buds wrapped with snow

Time will tell, but at least I tried. I sure would like to see this thing in full bloom some day.

Echium under pot

A few things got the overturned pot treatment and many potted plants are clustered on the deck. As cold as it is, these precautions may be entirely inadequate.

bird feeder

The bird feeders got filled. The birds got so excited once the snow arrived that I had to refill a couple of times a day.

suet

Some suet for good measure.

winter sun at mid-day

The sun moves in such a low arc that taking pictures at mid-day is almost like late afternoon. Love that winter light.

September’s split personality

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

We asked for rain, and it came down in buckets. Anything with big trusses, like this Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ was laid low.

Macleaya cordata

Some tall things, like the Macleaya cordata (plume poppy), met a similar fate.

Leonotis nepetifolia

Once standing proudly a good 8′ tall, Leonotis nepetifolia now crouches on the ground. Before I had a chance to get out there and stake them, the flowering tips began to bend upward to reach for the light. Note to self: next year, stake early and stake liberally (yeah, sure…like I’m about to do that).

Lion’s tail

See what I mean? At this point they would look mighty peculiar if I were to stake the bent stems.

Chasmantium latifolium

I actually did stake the Chasmantium latifolium because last year it dipped over into the pond. Live and learn: the stakes need to be taller, with at least two levels of bamboo poles strung between them.

zinnias

Waterlogged zinnias were dead headed, the plants freshly tied up to existing stakes, and these little flower factories are already pumping out new product.

Hydrangea Preziosa
Hydrangea Preziosa

Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’ is turning many shades of dusky hues. Beaten down as it is by the rain, I needn’t hesitate to cut freely and hang the flower heads upside down to dry. I find all kinds of uses for them during the holidays.

mopheads

The big mopheads fade to even more interesting colors.

Verbena bonariensis

I like the deep purple of the last throes of Verbena bonariensis, but most of them are finally flopping and must be cut back.

So the first week of September was soggy and it seemed that summer had ended with a flash of light and a clap of thunder. Hah! We are into the second week, characterized by temperatures in the 90’s. Our Texas friends laugh condescendingly, but we Oregonians (with a few notable exceptions) wilt and whine in such weather. I am circulating a petition for Indian summer: crisp, sunny days in the 70’s. Are you with me?

the deep freeze

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

frost + sun

I can’t help myself: I must join the parade of bloggers posting shots of the frosty wonderland.

weeping evergreens

rhodedendron

ceanothus

eucalyptus

fern

ferns

hornbeam

mahonia

frosty scene

I’m glad to see the rains return, but it sure was pretty, don’t you think?