Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter Check In.

A 20 year winter has come in hard. For the first time in my memory I have been in below freezing temperatures for over two weeks. Be it that one of those weeks was in Berlin Germany. There has been traces of snow on the ground for a month at the Cinder Cone.  

That feeling when your garden gets a wind lip.
Whilst away I tried my best not to obsess about low temperatures and precipitation. But I returned just in time for one of the largest winter weather events in 20 years. The snow and weather has allowed me ample time to recover from jetlag and spend time work on musical endeavors. 

Interesting snow accumulation patterns, horrible ice. 
When I speak of weather I mean winds around 15 mph with the occasional gust of 30 mph. Conditions not fit for gardening or other exterior activities.  I was able to brave the storm and take a few photos before my hands went numb.

Poor poor Arbutus menziesii.  
It is safe to say that the majority of the plants in the garden have not endured an episode quite like this. We have had a run of several mild winters. Time to see if any of the plants can handle the harshness that the Gorge has to offer.
My largest Quercus mexicana fitting right in.  

When foreign plants look better than natives.
Quercus hypoleucoides 2 years in the ground. 
Querucs hypoleucoides is honestly the best looking broadleaf evergreen on the property. handling the terrible conditions in strides compared to the "true" West Coast evergreen Oaks.  We shall see how some of the other Californians do this winter.

Beneath the twigs Torreya californica.
While in Europe I saw several Torreyas in various botanic gardens. Including Torreya taxifolia (De Hortus, Amsterdam), Torreya nucifera (various) and Torreya grandis. Whilst on the subject of obscure conifers... 
Winter color on my Cunninghamia. 
Now for a quick check up on the plants from the Southern Hemisphere. 

Winter color? This Eucalyptus gunnii is looking burnt.
Worst case scenario this Eucalyptus will resprout from the ground. I can handle the occasional dieback, with an established root system most Eucalyptus should grow back rapidly. This Eucalyptus was obtained from Burnt Ridge Nursery out of Vader Washington. I believe the tree the seed is from has diedback on occasion.  

Luma apiculata getting a bit wind burnt. 

The large Chusquea culeou got a little cleaned up.
The Southern Hemisphere is not known for its drying east wind. But I believe a lot the plants from the Southern Cone to be hardier than imagined. Only time shall tell.

A newly planted Chusquea andina, crossing my fingers.  
Austrocedrus chilensis [RCH 476] quite confident about this one.

Chusquea culeou "aisen 2" a seedling with an odd growth habit.
Until this point all the Chusqueas have grown quite well, but we shall see how they handle this continental cold. Their native range does not really have an equivalent to this sort of weather system. Now back to West Coast chaparral. 

Perhaps I should have planted this Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' closer to the boulder.

Chaparral to the right of me, goat pen to the left, stuck in the middle. 

Put on a lot of growth and you might get burn Arctostaphylos 'Upstanding' . 

My baby Arctostaphylos 'Timothy Tickle'  waiting to flower.
A garden in snow.

Sunrise looking west.

Looks more like Siberia than Skamania.  

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