Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oh Daphne! You Made it to the Party!

One of the joys of Portland gardening is knowing in February you will have deliciously lemon Pledge scented Daphne flowers to enjoy.

They bring life and fragrance back to the garden, something that every gardener treasures in early spring, just when bulbs begin popping their heads out of the soil and the gardener's soul stirs.

This has been a rough winter for Daphne, testing their tenacity as beloved garden shrubs. I suspect there are going to be a lot of "fugly" Daphne in Portland for a time, until they can all recover from their winter beat down.

At the Lents Farmer, Daphne odora 'Marginata' and Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki' both took big hits.

After the first round of cold (10° F degrees for several days), 'Marginata's leaves turned a lovely shade of black and fell off. Perhaps 'Zuiko Nishiki's home under the Black Walnut kept it a little less exposed?!?  Both plants managed to keep their flower buds through the second round of snow and ice. 

'Zuiko Nishiki' leaves seem to have survived slightly better than 'Marginata', but 'Marginata's buds fared a little better. There is always a trade off I guess.

Daphne odora 'Marginata'
Daphne odora 'Marginata' 
Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki' 
Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki' - Slight damage to the buds.
The baby Daphne x houtteana 'February Plum" lost most of it's pretty purple leaves and looks sad, but it is going to make it. The stems have plenty of new leaf buds sprouting on them.

The much taller Daphne bholua lost all of it's leaves and flower buds after the first round of cold.  The stems seem to still be alive and not cracked. (fingers crossed).

Daphne bholua after the first storm.
Daphne bholua after the second storm.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' did perfectly well and still blooms almost non-stop most of the year. The biggest problem with this one seems to be in the summer with caterpillars eating and living in the branch tips. 
Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance'
Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance'

Daphne genkwa still looks like a stick plant. It is a 3-4' decidious shrub with slender branches. The not so fragrant flowers are lilac colored and produced in May before the leaves come out. Right now the buds seem to be plumping up. There were many of these in the display gardens at the Yard, Garden and Patio show. 
Daphne genkwa (Lilac Daphne 芫花) - all the leaves on the ground belong to the sad Bottlebrush to the left.

In a related note - Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paper Bush), a deciduous Daphne relative, didn't even blink once during the cold and is currently blooming like crazy.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 2014 - Garden Update!

It was hard to get out this weekend into the garden.

The weekend follow-up to Snowpocalypse 2014 was a weekend filled with rain and some pretty intense night time howling wind. The kind of wind you wonder if the roof will stay attached or if that big tree in the neighbor's yard will snap, fall, and crush you while you sleep.

The result of all the high winds in my neighborhood was for Monday to be garbage day and all the garbage bins were blown over and recycling was scattered all over the streets. It is a mess!

On Sunday, I did get out briefly in between rain showers to take some pictures and see what was going on. Most of the plants seemed to have survived the snow and ice with minimal extra damage. It may have pushed a few things over the edge though.

I also went to a nursery season opening and bought one plant - the first of 2014! We will see how Grevillea victoriae 'UBC Form' does! It appears there was only one Grevillea death of the four that were in the garden.  Gotta keep pushing the zone! We won't have another winter this bad for years?!? Right?!?

Camellia japonica 'April Remembered'
Crocus flavus 'Golden Yellow'
Unknown Helleborus (Lenten Rose)

Daphne odora 'Marginata'
Galanthus elwesii
Unknown Helleborus (Lenten Rose)

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' (Lenten Rose)
Paeonia ostii 'Feng Dan Bai 鳳丹白' (Phoenix White Tree Peony)
Cyclamen hederifolium 'Silver Me Pink' (Hardy Cyclamen)
I'm brain farting the name of this peony - it's always the first to leaf out!

Galanthus nivalis

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snowmageddon 2014

We knew the weather was going to get bad, but last week I didn't even think about snow.

Thursday evening

My Assistant Yvee surveying the yard.
I took a snow day today. I feel like a school boy in Wisconsin getting a day off of school. By how pretty and sunny it is at the moment I feel a little guilty, but the snow is supposed to be back later today. It only got worse, culminating in freezing rain and ice.

I covered what I could on Monday after work, but now the rest is up to chance. I said "goodbye" to a few plants. The last bit of cold was bad enough, I knew this one would do them in. 

It was nice knowing you plant. May the gods of zonal denial keep you and save you. 

Jane Magnolia
A covered tree peony.
The fish are frozen again!
Pretty much sums up how I feel about this snow!

Snow on Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Korean Gold'
Snow and rocks.
Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph'
Oregon Grape

Hebe cupressoides peeling like a banana.

Pinus monophylla

Agave parryi var. parryi looking good.