A Mild Winter

It’s mid February and it reached a high of 75 this afternoon. Overall, we had a very mild winter here in North Texas. A couple of frosty mornings and only the most of delicate foliage died down during those spells. For the most part, plants that usually go dormant in the winter, stayed green in the garden and are ready for spring.

I planted some Daffodil bulbs the fall before last. They didn’t bloom last winter, but they did this winter. I decided to plant them around the Texas Lantana, since the shrub is deciduous and would offer the daffodils a place to shine during the cooler months. I figure once the Lantana begins to grow in the spring, the daffodils will begin to wither down. Since we had the mild winter, the Lantana foliage remained, some green and some frost bitten. This is what you can see among the daffodils below. I finally decided to trim the Lantana down in anticipation of more warmer weather.

daffodils abovedaffodilsdaffodils zoom 2daffodils zoom

Here are the Fall Mums that I planted just this last Fall. The foliage did die from one of the small freezes we had, but I notice some green foliage growing in from the base. Something about this sight made me smile. I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow when I trim the old woody growth. Two of these are planted in the patio border, on either side of the Ajuga.

Fall Mum in winter 2Fall Mum in winterFall mum spreading

Ajuga is spreading at a moderate pace and is purple during this time. These bloomed last spring for the first time and hope to see even more blooms this spring.

Ajuga in winter

The Cedar Sage did not do well last year. They were beautiful the year before, but only seemed to last me one year. I’m not sure if it was all the rainfall we had last spring, but the stems would easily pull out of the ground. I suspect it was some type of root rot. They did bloom last year and the humming birds would visit, which was fun to quietly view from the patio. Both the plants died by the end of summer, but luckily they easily reseeded. I now have 3 seedlings growing in the same bed, different spots. These little guys remained evergreen with just a few frost bitten leaves. The Coneflower too, did not go completely dormant. The base remained with green foliage and I allowed the fallen tree leaves to protect them from frost.

My potted Scented Geranium completely died down during the winter last year, but held on this year. This gives the clearest picture of the kind of winter we had. My confused geranium is still very fragrant, more so than ever, even in it’s condition.Not sure if I should prune to the base or just remove the dead foliage?

Scented Geranium in winter

Lastly, my Gaura lindheimeri, which is also potted in the backyard, showed off some wispy red stems and remained evergreen at its base. I have another one planted in the front yard’s flower bed and it’s in a completely different state. The front Guara, which is planted in the ground, is fuller at the base foliage, but with stems that have completely died down. The potted Gaura is smaller at the base, but with stronger red stems. I wonder what caused the difference in growth? I find it interesting…Both bloom nicely in the Spring.

Guara in Winter

Here’s my new addition. I finally did plant it, but forgot to take pictures…womp womp. I will take some in the spring as the other plants around it begin to take growth. It is a Salvia clevelandii and will grow 4′ x 4′. Some pictures online show it growing even bigger, but seems more so in it’s natural home. I can’t wait to see the blue clusters of blooming flowers on the Salvia clevelandii! See them here on Wildscaping.com. The foliage is very fragrant, even on this young plant. I need more evergreen plants in my garden and this one should prove well.I decided to plant it right in the middle of my flowerbed where the Silver Queen Artemisia has overtaken the bed. This artemesia dies down completely in the winter, but the long runners underneath the soil sprouts with new growth in the spring. I have not been a fan of this variety as it’s stays as a low ground cover in my experience. I think it would prove difficult to try and remove it completely.

Salvia CleavlandiiSalvia Cleavlandii placement

 

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2 thoughts on “A Mild Winter

    • Not a fan of winter here either, but worries me about the mosquito population this summer! I’m already seeing new growth on the coneflower and lyre leaf sage. Can’t wait for blooms and hummingbirds 🙂

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