More spring surprises

The volunteer tree that bloomed for the first time this year was the surprise in yesterday's post -- today I bring you several more.


Starting with what has to be a holly seedling growing in one of my pots, right? I had a small potted holly for a few years until the deer ate most of it, but it never produced berries so this must have been "planted" by a bird. Based on how slowly hollies grow, it will be a tabletop plant for a few years at least.

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Next up, this thin dead stick that spent the winter completely ignored in the garage:


that isn't really dead at all:


That's a small cape honeysuckle that I received in a plant trade last spring, or I should say it's part of a small cape honeysuckle.


This one is the main cape honeysuckle that I planted in the ground and left to die.


You may be noticing that it's not dead at all. Any more confirmation of our mild winter needed? This is listed as a USDA zone 9 plant -- we're zone 6! This was left in the ground without protection -- no cover or much of any kind. This was a very nice surprise!

This one, not so nice:


My main cardoon didn't survive the winter. Fortunately, a couple of others did:



So I'll be seeing those fantastic, large thistle-like flowers again this year, unless the deer decide they like them of course. I'm not too disappointed about the one plant dying, as I have different plans for that area this year.

Next up, bamboo shoots from rhizomes that were pruned a month or two ago:




It's surprising how large these shoots are, coming from rhizomes that are not attached to the main plant. Phyllostachys glauca 'Yunzhu' if you're interested -- very showy shoots, they start out such a nice, deep red!

Finally something that doesn't surprise me too much:


The oleander that is quite happy to sit in the garage all winter (I've done it two years in a row) always gets an aphid infestation. I pruned this before putting it into the garage, removing all of the most tender growth, but they found it when the plant started waking up recently and growing tiny new branches.

One of the best things about the garden in spring is the discoveries and surprises, don't you think?

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Linda/patchwork  – (March 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM)  

I love it, when things come back from the 'dead'. Those are great surprises.
The aphids...not so great. Maybe I need to go check our oleanders. They're planted outside, but we don't get your usual cold.

Have a great weekend. Maybe there will be more good surprises.

Gerhard Bock  – (March 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM)  

Never underestimate cape honeysuckle :-). Your winter really was incredibly mild. I didn't think it would grow even in zone 8.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (March 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM)  

Gerhard: Our low for the winter was 13F for a night or two, but the cape honeysuckle is right next to the foundation. That wall gets blazing sun in summer but is shaded in winter -- it may have been radiating enough to add a few degrees, but that doesn't seem like enough.

Curbstone Valley Farm  – (March 23, 2012 at 7:54 PM)  

I remember tossing a cape honeysuckle in the compost pile at our first house. I was absolutely certain it was dead. The next spring I was shocked to see branches shooting out of the side of the bin! The compost clearly kept it warm and cozy over winter, and fed it too! I love volunteer plants!

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