Monday, April 5, 2010

Rising from the Dead

Spent the afternoon sweeping, blowing and even mowing up my oak fuzzies.  Often enveloped in a yellow-brown cloud, I labored along behind the mower, thinking of the plants that have, over the past week, elevated themselves from the ranks of "possibly dead" through "only napping" to "actually showing green".

Was really not too worried about the Hosta 'Gold Standard'.  It was my first and, until last spring, only Hosta.  It had always held up well through the summers and just kept appearing each spring larger than the last.  Then this past severely hot Austin summer hit and it showed wear for the first time.  But its back!

The Gold Standard had done so well, I threw caution to the wind last spring and planted 4-5 different varieties of Hostas.  Then came the summer of endless 100+ degree days, and I watched all the Hostas disappear (except for the aforementioned Gold Standard; it only shrunk).  Well before fall, they were all long gone.  Didn't really expect to see any of these recent plantings return, but, lo & behold, the Hosta 'Shade Fanfare' has made a surprise appearance.

I had placed three Variegated Flax Lilies (Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata') in locations around the yard last spring, and really enjoyed the splash of white they lent to the shady areas.  They seemed quite content and grew well, shrugging off the heat.  Winter arrived with several 25-30 degree lows - but they still looked great, showing no damage from the freezing temperatures.  I was impressed.  Then the thermometer plummeted to 18 degrees.  The Flax Lilies vibrant green and white quickly changed to brown.  I trimmed them back last month, but was afraid that they were gone.  Then I discovered a shoot of green - at each of the three plants.

In the fall, I transplanted three Mexican Petunias (Ruellia tweediana 'Colobe Pink') to a slightly less shady spot in the hopes of garnering more pink blooms.  And even if the bloom level remained the same, the plants were closer to the deck where they could be enjoyed.  Then, before they likely could get established, winter arrived.  These plants had never shown the least problem with low temperatures, but the recent planting coupled with 10 year lows knocked them back down to the ground.  But as the soil has warmed, they have re-emerged.

There were others on my "worry" list; some because of recent transplants, some because this was my first winter with them in the yard.  But many now have small leaves growing from the stems or sprouts emerging from the ground.  The Chile Petin (Capsicum annuum var. aviculare, not pictured), Mountain Sage & Red Christmas Pride have all started putting on their green.

 Mountain Sage (Salvia regla)

Red Christmas Pride (Ruellia amoena)

There remains "worries" regarding a few others, but its quite nice to see life returning.

1 comment:

  1. There are still a few things that I'm worried about as well. I had some ruellia brittoniana that I planted last year and it just started peeking out in a few places. Alas, there are also a few no-shows.