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Ye Olde Garden

The front yard embedded in winter ice

Two serious wintry blasts defined February; uncommon in Texas and burying much of the landscape in ice and snow.

It’s good to know that the gardenia is hanging on, still in good shape despite its tender tropical nature. The azaleas look somewhat bare this time of year, though the low-growing cultivars look fuller than the taller shrubs.

The Emerald Snow loropetalums are clothed in dark, very dark leaves. What damage they may have endured remains to be seen.

The nandina cultivars seem rather unaffected by the harsh weather; though the broadleaf types tend to show a little more leaf burn with their winter color.

The Hot Lips salvia definitely took a beating; I’m unsure at this point if it will recover. Where other salvia strains are putting up a good fight, this particular hybrid is sensitive to the ice and snow and all of its top growth appears dead. I made the mistake of leaving out my cuttings during the storm; I am hoping they will bounce back after bringing them indoors.

The foxtail ferns which had remained bright green up until this point finally displayed some winter burn. The spiky spears changed to yellow and brown…I am wondering if I will need to prune them back for spring.

Buried in leaves, most of the kale and violas appear to have been unharmed. I can’t say the same for the gaura plantings in the front bed. I’m even worried about the kangaroo paw returning in the spring. As for the hakonechloa, I reckon I will be moving them soon under the direct shade of the crape myrtle bed. After struggling most of last year, t his type of grass probably looks best in the cool spring months under full shade.

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