How are plants faring after the record winter we had?

I did some excellent nursery-going today, with my three fine colleagues, in the beautiful Columbia river basin. First we explored Cistus Nursery, then Joy Creek. We set out to get new plant ideas for our design work, see how the nurseries and display gardens looked after the bad winter and just generally have a change of scenery.

At both places we asked this question: “What are you finding did really poorly this winter? What made it through that surprised you?” At the first stop we were told in no uncertain terms that the things that did badly had been expected to die, and the things that lived, lived right on schedule. At the second locale, we were given a detailed answer, followed by a pleasant and informative tour of part of the display garden.

Basically, whether plants lived or died or are hanging in the balance really depends on a host of variables, including but not limited to:

-Variety
-Exact location: Elevation, Aspect, Microclimate, position of surrounding plants
-Soil type
-Age of plant and length of time in that location
-Whether any protection was attempted, such as mulch, burlap, cloth, straw, buckets
-Weather just previous to the really harsh weather

On the mostly dead list we have: Hebes, Eucalyptus, some Acacia, some Phormium, things that were cut back too early or severely, Australian mint bush, Coprosma, many Rosemary varieties.

Damaged severely: Choisya ‘Sundance’, Fremontodendron, Loropetalum, Corokia ‘Sunsplash, Conifers that got crushed by snow and ice, some evergreen viburnum,

Personal loses I sustained: Rosemary ‘Irene’, Gordonia, Leptospermum, Pernettya, Dierama.

Surprising victories: Astelia, Grevillea.

Yes, that weather was nearly four months ago, but it’s really just sorting out now that the last hard frost is likely past and the soil is starting to warm after a few scattered glorious days.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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