Monday, January 23, 2017

Snowmageddon 2017 (Winners and Losers)

2016 went out like a lion and then that lion hung around for the first few weeks of January 2017, licking it's paws, batting my shrubs around like toys and basically pissing off everyone.

December to January, we had four separate storms that first dumped ice and then about a foot of snow everywhere. One night it took me three hours to get home from work and that was a short commute for some.

All this snow and ice was beautiful for a hot minute and then it got old, REAL old! Note to self: buy a snow shovel.

View across the front - Caesalpinia gilliesii (Bird of Paradise Bush) in the front.
Poor car!
The back corner and English Walnut.

Poor Eucryphia x 'Nymansay' completely bent to the ground.
Across the side tundra! Magnolia x Jane in the front, black walnut in the back.

I know it's still too early to make the call on whether or not certain plants survived Portland's recent Snowmageddon 2016-2017.

This past Sunday (1/22/17) was finally sunny and dry and the sun even came out for a few hours. It was heaven.

The urge for me to get out in the garden was immense. Portland is still to have nighttime weather this week just below freezing, so although I worked for a couple hours cleaning up, I didn't want to get too crazy.

Based on a quick visual survey this past Sunday, there seem to be some winners and some losers.

The east winds whipped most of the leaves off Osmanthus fragrans tips or burned them.

Bulbine frutescens 'Tiny Tangerine' looking like creamed spinach.
Pittosporum tobira 'Shima' survived previous bad winters - will it again?
Daphne bholua (Garland Daphne) took another hit, but no ruptured stems this time.

Minor damage to Choisya ternata 'Sundance'
Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid''s stems are shattered and mushy.
Nerium oleander 'Hardy Pink' bent to the ground.

Is Coprosma x kirkii 'Variegata' a goner?

Pachystegia insignis (Marlborough Rock Daisy) probably dead?
It was hard seeing my babies buried under the snow. I could only imaging the damage to some of the shrubs and trees when they were smashed with the weight of all the snow.

Many of the Daphne, Grevillea and Osmanthus took it hard, or so it looked. Many of them popped back up when the snow melted, although they have new "holes" or clearly need to be staked back to a more upright position.

Smashed Daphne odora
Daphne odora 'Doughnut' springing back.

Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Golden' peeling like a banana.
Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Golden' mostly back in proper form.

I have to say I feel like the garden did really good overall.

A lot of the damage seems minor and there was very little limb breakage. I always fear the big walnut trees will lose a limb and take out a parked car or the fence. 

Some of the less hardy for our climate shrubs seem to be winners, but perhaps I had no reason to worry? Many of the Australian or New Zealand shrubs I have coveted the past few years, like Grevillea miqueliana 'Sunset', are actually hardy to 5 to 10 degrees. I don't think it got quite that cold.

There were many times I got in my car in the morning and saw that the temperature was 19 degrees at 7:30am.

Since we had so many days below freezing, I just figured the cumulative effect of weeks of freezing temps would finally get to the marginally hardy plants.

When the temps finally get warm (70's), perhaps some of the plants that looked okay now will show their real damage. I'll reassess in a few weeks too. 

Agave parryi var. parryi (Parry's Agave) and pups unmarked and not mushy!
Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera (Blue Mediterranean Fan Palm)
Telopea x 'Braidwood Seedlings' (Australian Waratah) looking good!
Grevillea junipera 'Xera Ember'
Baby Nerium oleander 'White' and Yucca friends looking good.
Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill Palm) not even a bad leaf?!?
Drimys lanceolata (Mountain Pepper) - a little tippy...
Embothrium coccineum (Chilean Flame Tree) only lost a few leaves.
Grevillea x 'Neil Bell' and Grevillea miqueliana 'Sunset' all did well but need staked back up.
Olearia lineata 'Dartonii' looks a little shabby but not too bad.
The bogs all look good - have to wait to see if the Venus Fly Traps made it too.

Still in question:

I'm still awaiting the verdict on the fish.

In past winters, they have survived 10 degrees for three days, so I'm hoping for minimal losses.

I'm confident that the fish in the 300, 180 and 150 gallons have all survived along with their waterlily, the 70 gallon may be another result. Thankfully they are on the thaw. The ice on top was easily 8 inches thick.

Seems unlikely the fish in this one made it through :(
Bogs, ponds and Pinus monophylla (Single-leaf Pinyon Pine)
Those are big ice cubes!
Frozen Limnobium laevigatum (Frogbit)

Nymphaea 'Hazorea Dagan White' emerging from the ice.