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Thread: The blessing of snow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    The blessing of snow

    I've held off commenting about our "Pacific Northwest" winter so far, as we've hardly had one. Until about a week ago that is.

    Finally real good hard frosts, and lately the rumour of a cold snap as bad as anything for the last 50 years.

    But as I look out the window this morning, 5in. of snow on the ground and it's continuing to snow quite steadily...I like it! My little container plants, mostly hellebores, along with many borderline hardy plants in the ground (phormiums and hebes) were getting hard hit by the clear, frosty weather, but this blanket of white insulation is the perfect solution.

    I just say, let it snow, let it snow let it snow...sing along if you like

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    northeast Tennessee
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    1,703
    Glen, Snow does make a nice insulation blanket if it stays all winter like I imagine yours does. I say let it snow....somewhere else.
    tennessee sue

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Central Indiana Zone 5a
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    Glenn,

    With as much as I really hate the cold weather and the dark desolate days of winter, I must agree with you that snow does have its good points.

    Not quite the middle of January and winter is still rather unsettled; we've has a couple of decent snows, making this early part of winter a bit easier on the plants, unfortunately, winter has yet to get really "dug-in" and the snow blanket doesn't stay for long. We're hard into the dreaded and damaging freeze/thaw cycle.

    Eventually winter will settle in and we'll be free of this vicious cycle for several weeks. It will be hard on all of us "warm-blooded creatures, but very good for the flora as they will get the rest they need to do the things they need to do to be able to grace us with beauty once Spring arrives and heralds the time for rebirth.

    The unfortunate part is that, in my zone, Nature is a fickle mistress of the earth and not always as benevolent as she could be. It seems in this zone and in my particular area of that zone, we spend more days in a "flux mode" than in stable conditions. And the only good thing I can say about that is that it does cull out the weaklings and strengthens the survivors. With Nature, it is truly "survival of the fittest", be it fauna or FLORA.


    Rebecca
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    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    Settled winter conditions

    Sue, Rebecca and all--the theme seems to be, cold and snow would be not too bad for our plants if they could just come on one day in early winter, stay put till winter's over, then leave for good. None of this coming and going.

    Well, I do have the same sort of experiences you seem to. Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter is rarely a definite season. Weeks where it gets to freezing and stays there, like I'm experiencing right now, are very rare. This does make it easier on plants in one way, but definitely harder in another way.

    Much more common is months of overnight lows close to freezing, and always above freezing thru the day. Evergreens especially get a real workout from the freezing/thawing, even as slight a freeze as it is.

    There seem to be actually fairly few spots that get and stay snow covered all winter, but there they can sometimes grow stuff really well that "should" be well out of their hardiness zones. I know a gardener in Regina, Saskatchewan who grows nice lewisias...native to northern California. Also the botanical garden in Montreal that has gorgeous himalayan blue poppies.

    Score one for the benefits of heavy, dependable snow cover pretty well from the day it first arrives till it finally thaws in spring.

    Not that I would move there mind you, just philosophising!

    Glen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    Glen, Rebecca, and All,
    well living here in snowy West Michigan sometimes has that barely snow and then lots, and then gone, and then here. We had snow here for Christmas, and then it warmed up and the 8" or so we had was gone, for about a week or so. Then last week we got more (5") or so, and it's still here, but, they are calling for temps in the higher 40's this coming week, with some rain. So it just might all go again. Usually we get snow in mid Dec. and it stays till March. With a thaw the end of Jan. beginning of Feb. I could do without the snow myself, but always living here, I'm kinda used to it. My plants don't seem to mind. They've done well so far. But I haven't been gardening that long, and never paid attention before.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    This is a relatively new plant for me. It stayed in pots for the first 1.5 years, but has been in the garden for the last 1.5 years.

    It's what I consider to be a subtropical, and given that this is supposed to be our coldest month, I don't think it should be sprouting new growth.

    But it is...
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    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    In the last picture, you can see my problem with the blackberry vines that are growing directly inside the plants.

    BTW, that was Thunbergia Battiscombie which has quickly become one of my favorites.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    221

    Thunbergia

    Ann, is that the blue or the red flowering one?

    Both would be considered way too tender to grow outside here, it's neat to see that it survived your recent frost.

    Sometimes the cold doesn't do as much damage as long as it is fairly brief, and mixed with much warmer temps like you guys get.

    I find it interesting how you can grow so much more tender stuff, even though your coldest lows are often not much different that ours in the NW. Way different pattern of cold though, with us staying cool all winter, with occasional cold outbreaks.

    What other flowering vines can you grow, I'm looking for a few for my new greenhouse...which is planned to be kept frost free. I'm looking real hard at lapageria, what a beauty!
    http://www.plantsofperfection.com/Pl...ria_rosea.html

    Glen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Glen,

    Whatever you do, don't plant one of the vines that get huge like my red passiflora and the Thunbergia Grandiflora (light blue). They will take over a greenhouse in NO time.

    Here is the one that is more of a rambling vine. The vines only get 3-4 feet long, but the plant multiplies at the base as you can see in prior pictures. They seem to grow just fine in a large pot.

    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    842

    Buying the Thunberbgia Vine

    Ann,
    Where can I get a Thunbergia vine that you have in the picture of this post? I saw one at Dan trimmer's place while on the bus tour on Fri May 7 while at the regional. He had it growing on a strcture that provided some shade in the garden for his visitors. I want to put one on an arbor here that I can get my hubby to make out of pipes. I have my jasmin vines growing on some trellises that he made so I know he could make the arbor.
    Daylilies are the Lord's smile, a new one everyday

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934
    Dawn,

    I think you can buy them at http://www.logees.com , but if you can wait until after school is out, I can root a few cuttings for you. Mine came to me as rooted cuttings from a MG friend, and I am truly enjoying the blooms. I will definitely cover them on days of frost next winter. It has been worth it.

    Last day of school is May 24th, and I am looking forward to a summer of gardening and lots and lots of propagating.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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