Gotta Garden

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heart Broken...

By now, a good week plus later, the snow has receded to just the shady areas and the piles where snow was pushed aside. Just this morning, I heard of the chance of snow on New Year's Eve to New Year's Day. No matter. Having made it through 'the big one', the rest will seem small potatoes.

Not that I've really ventured forth, but I have had a bit of a chance to see what the Big Snow has left.

As far as I know, this is the most devastating garden damage. Pretty sad, huh. This was Waterfall, a Japanese Maple. It had the unfortunate luck, as it turns out, to reside in the shady bed right beside the front door. On the one hand, this is a protected area and, as mentioned, shady, so nice for a young tree like this...was. On the other, unbeknownst to me, (or un-thought-of) the snow staying in this area got quite heavy (obviously). When I look at it now, I clearly can see that the piles are rather icy not soft and powdery. Who knew?

This picture shows it from a bit further back. You can see snow receding (but not quick enough). The daphne to the right appears to have only suffered slight damage (it's getting large, so what it lost will not be missed). The gardenia (Chuck Hayes) on the other corner lost only some branches off the back. Being on the corner, the snow quickly receded from it. There's also another gardenia, smallish, pretty much still covered in snow (Kleims). Time will tell whether the icy snow snapped all of its branches. They are flattened over (and covered by snow) the hardy cyclamen right now.

The lesson here...for those of us who get infrequent heavy that snow turns icy which gets much heavier than snow alone. Therefore, even though it still looks rather snow-like, it will break branches on things unaccustomed to such weight. I shall have to remember this for when we get another one of another...what 10, 20, 30, years from now. This may have even been a record snowfall for us.

I have a tea olive in the backyard (holly leaf osmanthus) which is quite hardy. I remember a year or two ago when snow laid all of its branches flat on the ground. It melted rather quickly and uprighted itself without any intervention on my part. I'm afraid that rather spoiled me. I had the idea these things handled issues without my intervention. Silly me. Oh well.

In case there is any question in your mind, Waterfall is gone. Most Japanese Maples are grafted, as is this one. However, as a gardener, one knows that losses can occur. As a rather seasoned gardener in a small yard, one goes with the flow...what will be, will be. I will ponder whether I want to put another one in there or try something else. I do tend to crowd things, so once it is removed, the hellebores will probably give a great sigh of relief and keep spreading out...

.....with all that snow and cold weather, some animals knew just how to wait it out...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As most everyone knows, quite a bit of snow fell around these parts on Friday and Saturday (12/18-19). We get snow most years, here in Stafford, just not like this. DH figured we probably got 20+ inches. A LOT for us....(even the government was closed on Monday)

A few pictures from Sunday, after the snow...

This is looking out our front door...enough wind or whatever that we actually had snow outside the front door...a first for us...

a slightly larger view...

One of my dogs, Kobe, making his way outside....He has a new nickname "Snowdog" as he eagerly took outside, plowing through snow with his nose...

A day later (and a bit of snow melted later..) can see the legs on the bench now...

We dug out enough of the driveway to move the vehicles...

Daylily labels emerging...

For grins, Chuck Hayes Gardenia covered in snow (the same gardenia that was a pile of brown sticks this past spring...fully recovered and still putting out buds when this snow hit...I think it actually makes it through the winters's March here that's so hard...warm and then a freeze...repeat...)...yes, the walkway cleared by....uh! The dogs really appreciate it.

Nice icicles on the Sweet Box...

I looked back at my garden journal...which I kept more faithfully before this blog (shame on me)...I found it interesting. I noted our first snow of the year in 2004 was on 12/19. I was worried about the tea olive, banana shrub, variegated confederate jasmine and a hebe...all of which, except the tea olive, had zone 7 tags (not!). The tea olive and banana shrub are still here and doing well. In fact, I'm planning to oust the banana shrub next spring (banana tree...too much space, too little fragrance...).

On December 10th, 2005, I noted that we had already had two snows, three counting the light snow we encountered taking our son back to BWI after Thanksgiving. (Without these notes, it sure is easy to forget when the first snow is each year...)..

That's it until this year's entry....2006 until now...well, they must be on here....I don't know, I'm thinking about being better with the garden journal (don't I always think that??) it is so nice to look back...not just for weather...but to also read about what my garden concerns were. Even the short notes are meaningful.

Okay I just have to add this...yes, daffodils and snowdrops are up...not unusual....keep those garden journals!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Seedlings

With a winter storm due in tomorrow night, it's time to settle back and enjoy what was. One of my greatest pleasures during Daylily Season is the daily discovery of new blooms. After growing these seedlings at least two years (sometimes three...), it is oh-so-nice to find some that make me smile...

The Class of 2009:





9-115 (you might recognize this one...)






















Now...a few blooming this year (their second year) that originally first bloomed in 2008....

8-119 (2009)
and in 2008

8-136 (2009)

8-136 (2008)

8-162 (2009)

8-163 (2009)

8-163 (2008)

8-165 (2009)

8-165 (2008)

8-169 (2009)

8-169 (2008)

8-177 (2009)

8-177 (2008)

8-180 (2009)

8-180 (2008)

8-181 (2009)

8-181 (2008)

8-184 (2009)....this one has many faces...

8-184 (2008)....with a couple faces...

8-185 (2009)

8-185 (2008)

8-186 (2009)

8-186 (2008)

Now if you remember some of these from last year, you also probably remember that there were more...I have culled part of the bed (but not all of it) and some of my carefully placed tags...well, they became, I have some that are unidentified...also, my picture taking continues to grow...while looking back at last year's pictures, I found myself wondering what I was thinking when I saved a particular picture...ha.

There's always next year....I'm really looking forward to it...finding these again and others...and always the challenge of capturing what I see in a photo...along with that excitement of brand new-never-before-seen blooms.
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