Gardenjournal: winter of our discontent

in #gardenjournal4 months ago (edited)

Winter was extremely brutal this year: between awful cold, the endless pandemic and it's economic devastation and an attempted insurrection in my country, life looks grim. Luckily, nature always reminds us that this too shall pass.

Euphorbia schinzii.jpg
Euphorbia schinzii, a winter-flowering succulent that is traditionally planted on graves in my country and our true death toll is coming close a quarter of a million

Overnight temperatures reached lows that we last experienced 10 years ago, when it snowed and we went down to -4C one night, with a couple of nights in minus territory. I brought most of the plants in posts indoors and covered what I couldn't so I didn't lose too many. Although the kalanchoes got hammered, they will probably start growing again.

kalanchoe.jpg

Now is pruning and cleaning time, as the plants get going. The Clivia is budding, always a good sign:

clivia bud.jpg

I'm not one for cleaning up fallen leaves, I leave them in the beds as mulch and encouragement for the insect population

roses.jpg

The roses have been hard-pruned, as soon as the worst cold had passed, so that they don't put all their energy into growing in parts that are going to be cut. Although I'm mainly a succulent grower, the roses were here when I bought the house, survivors of poor planning and neglect and I let them be. They were a prime example of somebody making a tiny garden bed and going off to the nursery and buying a whole lot of tiny plants and putting them in, with no regard to the needs or eventual size of the plants and then to top it all, badly neglected by a later owner for over 10 years so the roses and a viburnum were totally smothered by a giant honeysuckle. I took the honeysuckle out because I'm unfortunately very allergic and the bush half killed me in spring. The Viburnum got moved and the roses rehabilitated over years. They have done well and flower enthusiastically since. I have done a couple of brutal bonsai treatments to various trees and shrubs and to my surprise, they have made the transition. What I did to those plants was the kind of thing that deserves a special place in gardener hell but I've learned about resilience. They do take a while, but they recover.

Another victim. This little black cherry was growing too close to the awful Belhambra giant and the roots were intertwined with those of the belhambra and it was being pushed sideways. This pic was taken about 5 and a half years ago

belhambra.jpg
Once the belhambra was finally gone, I couldn't get the cherry out with any kind of intact root system but there were a bunch of branched shoots that had some roots because we'd thrown a lot of garden waste there, which had an air-layering effect on the tree. I removed the main stem and roots and planted the shoots just before winter and kept watering it throughout winter. Not a good time to move a tree, it's best to do at the end of winter but it couldn't be helped and this sad mess was the result
plum.jpg

I looked at it a few days ago and pruned everything that had died leaving only this

pruning.jpg
This morning, it looks like there are buds forming. I'll be amazed if it survived and while I don't recommend trying this at home, it shows just how resilient some plants are. It will take some time to recover but it's a mature tree, meaning that it already flowers and bears fruit so I may even train it as a bush.

My other nursery survivors I showed last month are doing well and I'm trying to establish Dymondia as a groundcover instead of grass. I love the idea of a flowering, no-mow lawn. These are tough indigenous plants and they should be up to the task of surviving in my hot sunny yard.

These are my spring projects, for this month's #gardenjournal challenge. I'll update as they progress.

@mipiano and @ludmila.kyriakou why not take a look https://hive.blog/hive-120078/@riverflows/garden-journal-challenge-august--win-up-to-30-hive and try this next month

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Ah, weather can be so brutal! But still, you find enjoyment and you manage so well. One of the things I love about this post is the philosophies behind it: plants, like us, are resilient, and 'this too shall pass' ... xx

Thank you! Right now, we need a lot of reminding about that

cuddle_serenade.png

Preparing a winter garden for spring? It's a lovely job, full of anticipation. "The winter of our discontent" - how unbelievably apt.

I do enjoy the planning period before spring and watching seeds sprout. This has been a very hard winter

Manually curated by EwkaW from the @qurator Team. Keep up the good work!

You're welcome :)
The Kalanchoe is such a sad sight...

Yes, the poor thing was frozen stiff in the morning after the first bad night we got and then was hit a few times more over the next 2 weeks

Thanks @nikv , that is great you brought my attention to this challenge. Thank you 🤗

Although, I am right now in my old house with the garden I posted recently, once back in Spain I don't have it... just a balcony and those few succulents and cacti , if they survive this summer-vacation time without me :) We will see in a few weeks how they managed.

Your plants will start to grow again, and as @riverflows said, nice comparison with humans hehe, resilience and recovery 😇

Sometimes I think plants have the edge over us.

I want to see your succulents and cacti of course 😁

I want to see your succulents and cacti of course 😁

Me too :D
Don't know will I find more plants alive or dead 👀

Oops! If they were out of the sun, they may be ok

I had Euphorbia schinzii, but I dried it, now I don't have it :-(

Wow! You have a white blooming Clivia !!!!
In Cyprus, only with orange blossoms.
I really like Clivia!

Oops! Euphorbia schinzii likes quite a lot of water in summer.
The clivia is the normal kind, it's just that the flower stalk emerged very recently and must still change colour

Thank you!
So I dried it, it happens to me,
since there are a lot of plants I don't have time to water them in the summer :-(

Oops

Due to the intense heat in summer, some flowers have to be watered every day and it's tiring :-)

I've learned about resilience. They do take a while, but they recover.

That's beautiful <3
I hope this goes for my veggies as well as they are suffering a bit from heat and lack of water at the moment ^^

So long as they get water soon, they will be ok

Mother Nature provides us with so many lessons that we can learn from and in this case, she reminds us of the strength it takes to recover from conditions that are out of our control, and by having strong roots anything is possible.

That's very true

I love these glimpses into your garden, so different than mine in a climate so different than mine with plants more like my houseplants, but with the same challenges, setbacks and hopes. I wonder if all avid gardeners are both artists and philosophers?

Thank you. Many of your houseplants are actually native to my country and to be honest, I was quite surprised at the Clivias frost resistance. The plants that were hit hardest are exotics here.
Gardening is definitely a creative endeavour and I guess we must get philosophical after all the disasters

And the best part is -- but maybe more so here with the harsh winter -- you get to try again next season.

I always feel bad if I kill plants that I wanted to grow. Less so about getting rid of invasives so there's that contradiction

I know how you feel.

Winter with freezing temperature can do a number on some plants. As you mentioned, plants are resilient and hopefully your cherry tree will survive.🌸

Thank you! I'm rooting for it

Nice play on root.😀

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