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

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The State of My Garden After the Freeze

It's been a while, more than two weeks, since my last blog post. Once you get out of the swing, it's hard to get back in. We were in the grip of a two-week freeze then, so I posted pictures of frosty plants, wondering what would survive. I've had lots of ideas for blog posts floating around my brain, but haven't really gotten it together enough to write any of them.

Yesterday was a lovely day, plenty of sun, and it hit 50 degrees. I spent a good few hours out in the garden, moving some shrubs and perennials around. Today we were again promised sun, but it never materialized, at least here south of Seattle. There was plenty of fog, so thick at times I couldn't see the trees across the street. And so far it has hovered around 39 degrees all day. I tried to do some gardening, but came in after about 20 minutes with tingling hands.

Maybe it was sunny in town.

So, I'm writing a blog post about the garden instead of gardening.

Actually, I'm mostly just showing you some pictures, that I took with my new camera and the new macro lens that I bought for it. I'm still getting used to the camera and the lens, so bear with me. I had to get down on my belly for some of these. Elbows and body make a pretty good tripod.

The Sarcococca confusa/Sweetbox is blooming, and it smells wonderful!

Last year's berries are still hanging on the shrub, along with this year's flowers.

I have two flowers on my Hamamelis/Witch Hazel. This is one of them.

Cyclamen coum is starting to flower.
Hellebore 'Ivory Prince' has several large clusters of flowers like this.

There are plenty of swelling buds on everything.

I have three thriving cuttings of black pussy willow, that I got more than a year ago from a friend. No catkins yet, but soon.

Serviceberry is showing signs of growth.

The new leaves on Rubus lineatus start out silver. I love this plant!

Crocuses (new this year) are starting to pop.

Daffodils (also new) are popping too.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for this Grevillea's flowers to open. You'll probably hear me whooping and hollering when they do.

Future flowers on Mahonia repens

I don't recall the Mahonia repens blooming before, but it must have, because it looks like there are a couple of seedlings scattered around.

Every time I dig a hole in my garden, I bring up a crop of rocks. I've started using them to line the bottom of the fence.

The rocks are useful for plugging gaps like this, which let in all the neighborhood cats, not to mention other critters.

The last time I dug a hole in my compost bin to bury some food waste, I noticed it was teeming with worms.

So I cracked the bin a bit to get a picture of the area lower down. This looks like useful stuff.

"Oh No! The gap is closing! Get yourself back in the bin, you jumper!"

And now for the bad news, which is all about the Agaves.

Yes, it's wet, but it's also kind of jelly-like. Only the two center leaves are stiff.

It looks good, but it's completely mush. Poor little baby.

The center is in good shape, but a lot of the arms are goners.

I'm pretty sure Agaves aren't supposed to bend like this.

Or this.
Sad face.


  1. Lots of good stuff going on in your garden, especially those glossy sweetbox plants. Witch hazels are so frustrating -- mine have teeny flowers too, and only a few, hardly visible, and the whole plant is a disappointment. Good for you with two little beauties blooming : )

    Love your rock border, artistic and functional and all free!

  2. There is so much beauty and spring excitement here Alison! But of course my heart aches for your agaves. Such is life trying to grow these desert beauties in our wet climate. Please don't give up...they are worth the battle.

  3. Alison, we are on the precipice of spring! I can feel it! Your picture of budding tree's prove it! Soon my friend, soon!! Your pictures look wonderful, I love the one with the rocks under the fence. I am quite sad about your agaves. I agree with DG, don't give up! Cheers, Jenni

  4. The macro has really magnified those Grevellia buds, mine are so tiny , had to really press up close to make them out. I'm having the same Agave mush problem this year. Even though I think I have found clever dry spots for them, they get to be expensive annuals!

  5. I don't grow many agaves, because of what you show here. But, your new little blooms look so sweet! Especially the hellebore! It will be fabulous when all those buds open!

  6. Thanks for crawling around on your belly in our behalf. The results are stunning. I may have to spring for one of those macro lenses.

  7. Good luck with the Aguavas. Hope they make it. I loved seeing all of the worms. I also like that you put the rocks agains the walls. Must be nice to have all of that green. We have plenty of snow here.

  8. My agaves that didn't come inside are looking similar to yours :( Everything else in your garden looks wonderful though. Just heard on the radio that in the next couple of days it'll be cold and we'll get about an inch of rain. Neat.

  9. Wow. You've got some gorgeous shots there. Your closeups are amazing. Right now I've got several sprigs of Sarcococca on my desk. They smell heavenly. I sure hope your Agaves come out of it. Heres to more sunny weather. :)


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.