Still, there were many pleasant surprises to be found among the dearth of new plants. Also some well-meant but at times misguided attempts at winter protection. I didn't lift all the covers or dig through all the branch piles insulating some of my recent plantings. Overall what I found seemed to be surviving, so I left others to be surprises for my next visit home.
Apologies in advance for the blurry photos (and the quantity). For some reason I didn't get some things as in focus as I thought.
|Besides 'Nagoya Stars' and a couple spotted and really dark forest-green seedlings, one of my favorites is this subtly-striped seedling. I'll be happy to see this one grow. Hopefully it survives the deer.|
|This Rohdea japonica was deemed not noteworthy at PDN, but once it gets established I expect it to grow the extra long (1-2 feet) leaves that made me take it home.|
|Completely unprotected, I was really happy to see my Woodwardia unigemmata 'Ping Wu' hardly touched by the fluctuating temperatures of winter. I can't wait to see this plant fully-grown with giant fronds bearing plantlets at the ends.|
|Another Mahonia seedling from NC, given to me by a good friend, turns a gorgeous red in winter.|
|Billardiera longiflora has some frost damage at the upper ends, but most of it looks pretty good. I'm hoping it stays polite and doesn't completely overwhelm the slow-growing Acer griseum it's growing on before the tree can attain some size.|
|Definitely one of the best surprises is Prostanthera cuneata. I planted two of these in different locations, and both look fantastic. The foliage is wonderful for a burst of minty fragrance any time of year. One of my new favorite plants.|
|Native Satureja douglasii (yerba buena) has taken on hints of its purple winter color. In harsher conditions, full sun, no summer water, lean soil, the plant can take on almost metallic, deep purple tones.|
|Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (Eternal Fragrance) has nearly doubled in size since I planted it this summer. The frost nipped buds showed that it was flowering right up until frost, and probably even after that until it got really cold.|
|Podocarpus alpina 'Blue Gem' looks great. No problem with the cold here!|
|Gaultheria miquelliana surprised me not by its hardiness, but through its gorgeous color transformation to shades of ruby and garnet. This will make a beautiful patch of color all winter, especially as it spreads into a larger swath.|
|Fortunately, Arctostaphylos silvicola 'Ghostly' is performing wonderfully on the south wall of my parents' house, unlike A. malloryi. Out of the two, this one was my favorite anyway, because it was a little paler.|
|Time and the rest of winter will tell how this Digitalis obscura performs. It's suffered damage, but could still bounce back easily in spring if it doesn't suffer too much damage over the rest of winter.|
At least one of my three Embothrium coccineum appears to be alive under its mound of fir branches and sword fern fronds, if a bit flattened. I have hopes that they will survive the winter and put on growth this spring and summer. These trees are known for being finicky and hard to place, but with three planted in different locations throughout the yard with different conditions, chances are at least one will survive. The two Eucalyptus neglecta, protected by mini "greenhouses" appear perfectly happy. If only the deer hadn't weeded out the E. debeuzevillei. The Clethra barbinervis showed some evidence of freeze damage rupturing the bark near the base. I hope it wasn't as bad as it looks, as it's one of my favorite small trees. An as yet unidentified Clethra species from Far Reaches Farm (which I don't have the label of with me) appeared untouched. One of the new magnolias, either M. wilsonii or M. globosa, didn't look so great. I just realized in writing this post that I forgot to even look at the Philadelphus madrensis. My Penstemon rupicola starts seem to have survived the remainder of summer for the most part and grew well in the fall rains. My camellia seedlings all seem to be doing well, despite having no winter protection in their containers. There were lots of other successes and failures, which the jet lag helped me to blur together, but these are what struck me the most.
Here's hoping the rest of the winter is easy for my plants and my friends on the West Coast.