Winter color

Just some color that I noticed today in the garden.

It was a bit warmer so I spent a few minutes walking around. Not as much fun as in spring, but the garden is still quite enjoyable.


Florida beach life

In early January we took a much-needed vacation and spent a week on the beaches of Sanibel island in Florida.

Since our days were spent walking the shoreline and lounging on the beach, this post is about the wildlife we found, all of it fascinating to us. Don't expect to learn any names though, as "crab" is about the best I can do on most of these.


Ficus #2 update

I had forgotten that I drastically pruned another ficus last year, and thought I'd show that too.

I bother to post about these probably because they are the two best looking houseplants I grow. Not the most exciting of post topics, but more evidence that radical pruning is sometimes the best thing for a plant.


Ficus update

Just a little update on one of my houseplants, one of a few fiddleleaf figs (Ficus lyrata) I have.

Here's the way it looks right now. Want to hear more about this and why it's somewhat amazing?



It's been a fairly mild winter in St. Louis, except when it hasn't. Temperatures above normal most of the time, except for a couple of times when the arctic air arrived and dropped us to single digits. I believe the low was 4ºF (-16ºC) on two separate occasions (the second while I was out of town).

The result is the smaller bamboos -- which some years I have trouble deciding how to prune exactly -- are pretty much fried. Here's a little survey of some of them, starting with the Sasaella bitchuensis in the hellstrip.


Time for pond v2

I've posted about my pond troubles a few times this year, and I've determined that I need to do something drastic.

This thing is a mess right now, something I don't want to even look at. When in good shape it's probably the most enjoyable part of my garden, but right now...


Ice and Bamboo

The ice of last weekend is just a memory -- temperatures are in the 50's and 60's now, too warm -- but I wanted to still share with you what those of us whose gardens are built around bamboos see.

It's not pretty, but it's mostly harmless and temporary. Lots of painful looking bending.



I haven't posted about it yet, but I recently returned from a much-needed vacation trip to Florida. One thing I brought back with me:

This seed. Is it a coconut still in it's husk?


Every year: surprise!

I've been lazy with bringing plants indoors this year. Yes, I got them into the garage when necessary, but sorting them into the "stay in the garage" and "move into basement" lots was only about 50% complete until yesterday.

That's when I moved a bunch of small potted succulents into the warmth and under some lights. And that's when I got the surprise. Notice anything special about the elephant bush in this photo? (Other than the fact that it's dropped a lot of leaves I mean.)


Ice: beauty or beast?

If there's one thing that makes winter scary to a cold-climate gardener it's ice. Nothing has the potential for breaking the bones of a garden like an ice storm, when decades-old trees and other cornerstone plants can be damaged beyond recovery literally overnight. The number of dead limbs and twigs in my front yard is evidence of that -- I'm not sure yet if my plants made it unscathed.

Ice has another side though: I don't think there's anything in winter that can bring out the beauty in small garden details like a good coating of ice. Today I want to share this aspect of winter with you.


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