Cold, but -that- cold?

It seems like it's cold everywhere right now. That darn Polar Vortex swinging down and turning our mild, late winter into a my-brakes-on-my-truck-are-frozen-and-it-won't-move kind of cold, cold winter.

But is it the kind of cold that will set my bamboos back again? In other words, will they be "dead"?


Putting Musa basjoo to sleep

It's that time of year when I, in 5 minutes, drastically change the look of my back garden.

Sadly, it is time to prepare the hardy bananas (Musa basjoo) for the winter.


Plant migration continues

Although I did bring some plants in before the first frost was forecast a few weeks ago, I left many out there until much colder weather was coming. With the temperature not going above freezing for a couple of days (it's 16ºF / -9ºC this morning) I finally had to act.

With not only dozens of potted plants to get indoors but tropicals to dig and/or prepare for the coming cold there was so much to do. Luckily I looked at the forecast early so I had three days to spread the work over. This unidentified agave was one of the more difficult ones to move into the garage. Looks great out in the leafy yard, doesn't it?


Wednesday Vignette: late

Most plants look their best in spring or summer when their foliage is fresh, when they're in bloom, or something similar. Some plants might not come into their own until autumn, when their foliage puts on a show. This Sasa veitchii bamboo though, it's different.

It only gets the variegated look (from burst margin cells) once the weather turns quite cold. So after most trees have dropped their leaves and everything else has gone dormant or died, this plant is just getting going!


Late November Look

This is the time of year when parts of my garden surprise me. It's as if I don't really see what's there until some of the surrounding greenery fades. Leaves fall and cover the ground in browns, and then suddenly I have something wonderful here.

Of course your opinion may vary, but I like it!


My updated overwintering strategy, part 1

As I've mentioned before, I have a new strategy for overwintering this year. Well, perhaps "attitude" is a better word than "strategy", but it's a change nonetheless. The mild autumn we've had probably has something to do with it too, as does my busy schedule.

I always break up my not cold-hardy plants into two groups each autumn: those that cannot survive the dip below 32ºF (0ºC), and those that won't suffer until the temperature gets below 25ºF (-4ºC) or so. Usually I play it safe with the cactus and other succulents, but this year I'm pushing things.


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