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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tell The Truth Tuesday -- Winter Dieback

Right now we're having an unusual set of warm days, but only a few weeks ago we had unseasonably cold weather, in the form of a long stretch of unmelted snow and cold temperatures that barely reached above freezing each day. That weather, unfortunately, seems to have led to some winter kill on two of my large Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red.'

Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' -- no longer green

The needles have all turned a sickly baby poop tan or brown and fall off at a touch

A second 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is in the same state -- can you even see it against the brown of the soil?

I'm pretty sure its needles are not supposed to be the same color as the soil

After a quick look online at Xera's website, it's possible they're still alive at the roots, and all they need is to be cut back hard. I think I'll try that with the first one, but the second one has been slated for removal anyway since last fall when I started a renovation of the bed it's in. I wondered if it might withstand being moved elsewhere, but that was a risky proposition, and probably should have been done in the late fall or early winter, if I was going to try it. So now it's probably just going to be removed completely.

I have a few options for replacing the first, if cutting it back doesn't result in rejuvenation. I have two Grevilleas growing in the garden in similar conditions that survived our winter well, one still young, the other a few years old and getting bigger and better every year.

Baby Grevillea rosmarinifolia was just planted last year, is still small and hasn't flowered yet, and had a tiny amount of tip damage -- surprising since I think it is actually rated as Zone 8b

Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' is a few years old, getting bigger and bigger and chock full of flower buds

There are other options too. Weeding under all these shrubs is always a pain, because their needles are so sharp and bristly.

Now I just have to muster the energy to actually grab the secateurs and get out there and do the work...

Do you have some garden ugliness to share with us?