As expected

There is always something, most often minor nuisances that temper the gardener’s glee. Just as he should expect an occasional April freeze, the gardener must also expect damage to the garden that is mostly unavoidable. Trees and shrubs are tarped or otherwise covered with great difficulty in a one acre garden, but there is surprisingly little damage to flowers and fresh growth following several nights of frost and two that dipped to thirty degrees (Fahrenheit).

With a freeze in the forecast, I was most concerned about two tender mangaves that made it through with slight protection and no problems, but also with Japanese maples with newly emerged leaves. A few of the maples suffered minor damage, but ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’ (above) will require pruning of branch tips that have withered from the cold’s damage. Fortunately, the tree is of manageable height that all tips can be reached, and I expect that the maple will look good as new in another month though it will lose several inches of the season’s primary growth.

Several clumps of ‘Miyazaki’ toad lilies are in a cold spot in the garden where they have been repeatedly damaged by late freezes.

In recent years new growth of toad lilies (Tricyrtis) has been nipped by frosts and freezes (above), and again some top growth has been damaged. In another week or two this will become brittle and I’ll pull off the damaged leaves. I’ve seen that this barely slows the toad lilies’ growth.

A seedling redbud with bronze new growth made it through the freeze without damage.

I was slightly concerned about newly emerged leaves of several trees, including redbuds (above), but thankfully there is no evidence of damage.

Leaves of ‘Persian Spire’ ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Persian Spire’) are bordered by dark marking that fade into summer.
Reddish colored cones of the sprawling Acrocona spruce grow add color to this green needled evergreen.
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is early to flower, but never damaged by late freezes.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Those cones on that spruce are simply beautiful. Does Meadow Farms sell red buckeye?

    1. Dave says:

      They are stocked on occasion, but I don’t see any today. One could be ordered, though plant availabilities from growers is at a low point.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Ouch! Late frost would be no fun. I know it would be nice to be able to grow plants that require more chill, but that frost business does not appeal to me.
    Red horsechestnut should be more popular than it is here. I have seen it only a few times. I do not remember the species, but I do not believe that it was Aesculus pavia. If I remember correctly, it was Aesculus carnea.

    1. Dave says:

      Red horse chestnut is a real gem, far superior to most other large trees with exceptional flowers and good foliage, though lacking in autumn foliage color.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Well, yes, . . . except that for us, they do not get very large in this climate.

  3. Linda krause says:

    Do you have umbrella pines?

    1. Dave says:

      Yes, I have two planted years ago. Both are twenty feet or taller. Wonderful trees.

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