03 December 2009

Goodbye and good luck!

The national weather service says: "Snow showers likely, mainly after 7pm. New snow accumulation of around 1 inch."

So, winter is here, and soon my plants will just be lumps and bumps under the snow. Most of my plants, of course, are old hands at this winter thing, and shall breeze through it just fine. But every year I try at least a few things that aren't SUPPOSED to be hardy, just to see. So today, before the snow starts flying, I went and said goodbye and wished them luck... Here are a few of the things I'm HOPING to see again in the spring:

 This is Agave parryi 'Super Hardy'.  The Arrowhead Alpines catalog says "from the most cold hardy population we know." I've put it in the best drained spot in my garden, and where it will be piled deep under insulating snow when I shovel my walk, so let's hope it lives up to its name!

Ophiopogon plansicapus 'Nigrescens', black mondo grass is such a cool plant, but all the references seem to say it is only hardy to zone 6. But that is just one little zone colder than here... I just have one test plant this year -- if it makes it through the winter unscathed, I'm going to get a bunch more and mass them in the shade garden.

This is a very, very bedraggled looking Echium fastuosum I grew from seed this year. Yes it looks bedraggled, but it is supposed to be only hardy to zone 8 and we've had already had temperatures dip into the 20s, so what do you expect. Actually, I had fully expected it to be dead by now, and I dug up one to bring inside before our first frost. But since it is still hanging in there -- still has green leaves even -- I've decided to hope against hope, mound up a protective layer of mulch thick over its lower branches and see what happens.

I've got other things I'm hoping against hope survive: Verbena peruviana, Leptinalla squalida 'Patt's Black' (Arrowhead says it 'needs some protection here' so we'll see), some roses in the cutting garden, and a few other oddaments.
What are you gambling on this winter?



Jennifer AKA keewee said...

My Mondo grass, just one plant, has made it through two winters. I am delighted as this is an expensive little plant. I hope yours survives too.

Diana said...

I'm glad to hear about someone else who likes to push zones. In my zone 6 garden I'm trying to overwinter several Salvias (two varieties of S. greggii and a greggii hybrid), as well as Rosemary Arp, a supposedly hardier Rosemary.

Good luck with your plants. It will be interesting to see what the spring brings.

Unknown said...

I don't think of this time of year as a goodbye to gardening because it is time to plan my next year's garden. I plant lots of seeds indoors, starting with perennials in January or February on my fluorescent lighted plant stand. This keeps me from getting winter blues.
Dorothy Nichols dotnik@verizon.net
website: agarden.us

Joseph said...

I hope my mondo does well too! But I think my garden is a little (okay, a lot) colder than yours, so we shall see. It is kind of expensive -- so I collected see which I am trying to germinate. We'll see how that turns out.

Do let me know for the Salvia greggii and rosemary do -- I've been wanted to experiment with those too. I've got a big rosemary in a pot in my window right now, and it would be lovely to leave those outside!

Dorothy, I don't think of it as goodbye to gardening -- just goodbye to the plants that I might not see again in the spring!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens (Texas) said...

I enjoy seeing your gambles for the winter. Everyone plays with their zones. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose...and yet I never think of it as losing so much as learning. Just because it dies one year doesn't mean I won't try to enjoy it the next.

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