One example of numerous dead brugmansias in the greenhouse.

One example of numerous dead brugmansias in the greenhouse.

It’s mid march and slowly warming up.  I am now looking hopefully at my plants for signs of growth but instead I am seeing what looks like a fair number of dead plants. First off, in the greenhouse, which is heated during cold spells, it looks like all of my brugmansias have died. A couple of these plants I have had for more than 10 years. and it’s not like this is the first cold winter we’ve had, but it requires a fine balance to heat a small greenhouse in the winter.  Too much heat and there are more mildew problems or weak growth, too little and plants die. The brugmansia-about eight of them-look dead to me, but I won’t write them off yet.

In the garden several lavenders look a little unhappy as well. Actually dead. But I know lavenders can look almost dead and then I am amazed how they leaf up and bush out. Looking at these ‘dead’ plants there doesn’t seem to be logic to what may have died. In the front of our property, where the growing conditions are quite harsh because of the wind and lack of soil, the lavenders look ok.

I don't actually hold out any hope for these lavenders.

I don’t actually hold out any hope for the two lavenders on the right.

They never grow very lush on that part of the property but they have definitely survived this winter. In a bed of five lavenders, under the sheltering branches of a fir tree, four of the lavenders look the healthiest of all the lavenders on my property whereas the fifth looks dead. And the dead one is the lavender I would have pegged as the hardiest of the five. Likewise, here and there, more lavenders look dead but I will wait before pulling them up. In a normal winter, maybe one will die but often not.

Even my rhododendrons have not been spared. A couple have died and several have been misshapen by the heavy late snow. Foxgloves too. A potentially beautiful self seeded patch thrived in their first summer last year, and I was so looking forward to the display this year. All dead. And I have already

Brugmsansia showing signs of life after all.

Brugmsansia showing signs of life after all.

pulled up a whole bed of strawberry plants that looked like they had root rot although they were planted in a tiered bed and in what I would have considered well draining soil. Sigh.

Note: this blog did not get posted when I wrote it, so now, three weeks later, I am so happy to see signs of life on two of my brugmansias. They definately won’t  bloom as they did in previous years but at least I can take some cuttings and look forward to healthy, robust plants in a couple of years.



And some plants have not only survived but are putting out their best.


armandi clamatis at sunset

This armandi clamatis is not particularly hardy but the foliage and roots are sheltered by the eaves on the studio roof. A stunning show as usual.


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