Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pruning Escallonia, Seed Potatoes -- And A New Plant!

My pink Escallonia did not like the unexpected snow and extended period of freezing temps we got last November, just before Thanksgiving.

It's been looking very sad and brown ever since. I've read that Escallonia is marginally hardy here. I didn't think it was still alive. You can see a few green leaves in this pic (taken in March), but they have been dropping steadily all Spring.

I attacked it today with bypass pruners.
I know -- Holy moly! Right?

My plan originally was to remove it completely. But when I got down to the very bottom branches, I found tiny little green shoots coming from some of the pieces that I had removed already. Whoops! It may not be dead.

I like this shrub. It has pretty pink tube-like flowers that the hummingbirds love too.

So now I'm of two minds. 

Do I keep it and see what happens? It's probably going to continue to be this ugly for a while. But I'm pretty sure it will bounce back from this severe pruning. Some shrubs actually like being pruned to the ground, some just tolerate it if you do it every year, and some will eventually weaken and die if you keep doing it. If I keep it, will it even flower this year? If we have another severe winter (for the PNW), will any new growth it puts out after this just die back too?

If I pull it out, I can put in one of the many other shrubs I am dying to buy. (WooHoo! Hello, Daphne...)

Got an opinion? Wonder what I'll do.
I got my order for seed potatoes today from Territorial Seed.

I really need to get them into the kitchen window so they can start sprouting. But that means removing the seedlings that are sitting there. 

Where do they go?

I'm going to a plant swap this weekend in Olympia. Those plants are outside in the propagator. I'll move these out there after the swap, so I can start the potatoes.
I went to Top Food today for some groceries, and couldn't resist checking out their little nursery area.

I found a climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) for only $9.99. It looks nice and healthy. I've been wanting one for this spot.

See that gap at the bottom of the fence, where they had to cut around the Douglas fir? I'm hoping the climbing hydrangea will plug that spot and climb the fir tree (and look spectacular doing it).

I love finding plants at the grocery store. I can hide the cost in the cost of getting supper, and no one is the wiser. (Oh wait, my husband reads my blog....oops)

Of course, I am almost caught up on my planting. I think......I am just incapable of remaining in that state for longer than a few days.