One of my favorite Dean Martin songs…also the description for Seattle today. What does this late & persistent hard frost mean for our gardens? I predict more damage to tender things, a little damage to things just budding out or early emerging perennials, and most definite damage to any newly planted annuals (primroses) or other plants that have recently come up from CA (mostly at nurseries). This can be problematic when buying new plants in the spring – if they were not grown here and also not protected during the freeze by the nursery they may sustain damage that won’t show up for a few months. So they can look fine when you buy, only to start to fail later. The good news is that reputable nurseries take every precaution to protect their flock, so be sure to know who you buy from (e.g. always support the independent folks over the big box). If you believe Accuweather’s long range forecast, and in this region I rarely believe long range forecasts, we are stuck with below normal temperatures until about mid-March. This will probably be one of those wacky springs where early things bloom late and so we have more things blooming at once in spring. Nonetheless, spring will most certainly come.
On the other hand, I was just in LA last week working on the next phase of my parents’ garden and it was definitely spring there. Forget that they have snow flurries at the Hollywood sign today, it was wonderful when I was there. While Southern California summers can’t hold a candle to ours, they have definitely got the upper hand this time of year. Things are filling in nicely in the garden completed last year and we are making plans for the largest renovation around their pool. My mom had most of the plants removed before I got down there, so the shots below look a bit somber. Taking out all the roses was done before they bloomed so she would not have second thoughts. Not only will the pool be getting a face lift with a very cool pebble like surface and a stone deck, there will also be new stone paths and landings. All the hardscape will be softened by ample beds filled with goodies such as Agave, Echeveria, Salvia leuchantha, Sesleria autumnalis, dwarf Phormium, Thamnochortus insignis and other low maintenance/drought tolerant perennials and ground covers. The house will also be getting some attention with a new color palette (earth tones), a new front door and fixtures. It will be a very exciting renovation! See before photos and mock up below:
A couple of shots of the garden that has been completed: