When overwintering so many plants indoors (in garage or basement), there are always some that don't make it through to spring.
My first casualty of this winter is unfortunately a plant that I was very excited about, and so was babying it quite a bit -- until I wasn't.
It's my Tetrapanax papyrifer, and appears to have died from too little water.
It arrived as a trade plant from Loree as a teeny tiny thing. She didn't think it would survive but it did, and in fact looked like it was going to continue growing all winter under my grow lights.
Then while I was rearranging things I temporarily moved it onto one of the dry shelves...
...those that I ignore for weeks at a time since they contain plants that want to stay on the dry side.
Somebody that has more experience with this plant might tell me that it's just dormant, but my plant skills tell me that's not true -- it's dead.
So it appears that I'll be looking for another one of these come spring. Drat. I always feel bad when my actions (or lack of) causes a plant to die.
Where there is death there is also new life though...
...as the mint stolons that were crisscrossing the canna clump I dug out recently have broken dormancy. They'll soon be supplying us with fresh peppermint leaves for our winter teas. Yum! (Peppermint is probably my favorite herbal tea.)
The purple fountain grass divisions that I waited so long to plant -- having just potted them up a week ago -- are springing back already:
Watching these grasses grow is one of my favorite winter gardening pastimes!
That's the thing about gardeners: we're eternal optimists, with the ability to easily forget about the failures and focus on the successes.