Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-up: February 2011

The sixteenth of every month gives us the chance, through the Digging blog, to show off the leafy aspects of our gardens by participating in Foliage Follow-up.  After 60+ straight hours of below freezing temperatures (extremely unusual for central Texas), my foliage is feeling the pain.

The Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) couldn't stand up to the extended cold.  All of them are cold-burnt husks of their former selves.

The leaves of the Dwarf Barbados Cherry (Malphigia glabra) suffered during last winter's 18 degree lows; so it didn't fare any better during this winter's 17 degree low.

Where once the leaves of my several Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus) created green waves, I now have a flattened mass of pale yellow.

Initially looking as if it had only suffered minor damage, the unprotected Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyersii') has turned a rather lovely tan shade.  Though I certainly hope it returns from its roots to its former green glory, I'm presently enjoying its brownish cast. 

Of course, one of the harder hit plants was the Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata).  Though it looks like at least a few have hardy pups, the large specimens have all begun to melt away from exposure to the severe cold.

Long ago, I actually planted some Australian Sword Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata 'Kimberly Queen') out in the ground.  Inevitably, it always gets knocked back to the ground but returns the next spring, putting out a few scattered fronds here and there.  Then winter returns and once again turns its fronds a brownish hue.

But not all is decaying.  Amongst the leaf litter I discovered some sprouts from the Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica).  They had originally been planted into a pot, where all they did was produce foliage.  I took them out of the pot and hung on to them over the summer and eventually put them into the ground - believing they were likely no longer viable.  But some of them are coming up!

And the first of my Lady Tulips (Tulipa clusiana) has broken ground, just beginning its growth up towards the sunshine.  This will be its second spring in my garden, so I'm very interested to see if they bloom as well as they did last year.

Be sure to visit Digging to see what leafy delights can be found in other gardens.


  1. This was a good post. I was thinking of doing the same just so that I could have a starting point as to what things looked like before they recovered. I'm glad you have some rays of hope pushing up through the ground.
    We've had 2 tough winters, haven't we?
    David/ unTropical Texana/ Houston

  2. Ouch, RBell, those are some sad, frost-melted plants. I have quite a few myself, but surprisingly my soap aloes held up pretty well in my raised beds. It's obviously a protected microclimate. I'm banking on my dwarf Barbados cherries coming back, as they did last year. Here's to spring!

  3. Holy moly. You've got me beat. Hooray for Spanish bluebells and T. clusiana!

  4. It sure looks like your garden took a toll by the winter. But is very nice to see it already bouncing back to spring

  5. David: These last two winters have been brutal. & I started garden blogging about then; you think we caused hell to freeze over?

    Pam: I'm jealous (and happy for you) of your Aloe survival - definitely sound like you have 'em in a good spot.

    Caroline: I'm looking forward to the tulip blooms; will be curious to see what the bluebells do in their new spot.

    fer: Nice to see something growing, ain't it?