21 March 2011

The Survivors

The snow has melted, crocuses are blooming, and it is time for my annual "I wonder what survived" tour of the garden.

We had what I thought was a pretty average winter -- some serious cold, but nothing too intense. I was worried because we didn't have very good snow cover (snow = nature's blanket) but so far things look great!
After having it 4 years, you'd think I'd have gotten used to this Agave parryi actually being hardy, but every winter I'm happily surprised to see it come through unfazed. Some years the tips of the leaves get damaged it they weren't covered with snow in the very coldest weather, but this year it didn't even get that. It has decent drainage in this spot, which I think is a big part of my success.
This is one of my snapdragons... Pretending to be alive, though I'm pretty sure it isn't. I don't know why snaps do this for me -- it seems they always come out of winter looking fine, and then collapse once actual spring arrives. Little teases...
When I saw the slimy wet mass at the heart of this cardoon, I thought it was a gonner, but looking closer I see a tiny fat white shoot coming up to one side. We'll see if it actually pulls through.

I was VERY surprised to see this bud pushing up through the mulch. It is an Anemone coronaria, which I've always seen listed as zone 7 or even 8! I grew them as an annual last year, and figured that was that. But apparently not! And I'm not the only one. Kylee over at Our Little Acre (also zone 5 -- just a little south of me) said she's had them come back for the past three years!

So, very good news on the winter survival front here! I am SOOOOOOO excited about the gardening year starting up! Let me leave you with some totally gratuitous crocus shots:

8 comments:

College Gardener said...

I hope the cardoon pulls through...And I think I should really give Agave parryi a try one of these days...

scottweberpdx said...

Congrats on the Cardoon...I'll cross my fingers! I'm totally paranoid about that Agave, I've almost bought one countless times, but always put it back, fearful I could never give it the drainage it would need to make it though a PDX winter.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It seems a bit early to take stock of winter losses. Some things are very late to revive. It is so disappointing to see something looking fine when the snow melts, only to have it keel over a month later (cough, cough, wallflower, cough, Scabiosa 'Beaujolais Bonnets'). I'm impressed with your cardoon. Will you be making booze with it? If not, try Cynar.

Greensparrow said...

Mr. M's D,

Yes, it is too early for a lot of things... but I get impatient.
And booze? From a cardoon? I'm not much of a booze person, but that is a fascinating tidbit...

Kylee said...

My snapdragons are alive, too! I can't believe it! Maybe I'll go throw a bunch of mulch over them for the next week's cold weather. Perhaps they'll make it through. It's crazy, isn't it? I have a verbena that's green, too!

Patrick's Garden said...

Hey Joseph,
Glad to have found your blog finally. I've enjoyed your cartoons on A Way to Garden.
I won't lecture you on being too early to take stock because I'm just as inpatient here in Kansas. So I'll keep my fingers crossed on the cardoon.

Greensparrow said...

Patrick, glad you are here -- though I think you've gotten a little confused. I DO draw gardening cartoons, but I'm not the person who draws them on A Way To Garden. I'm not nearly as good as Andre Jordan!

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