I went back to the old garden today to dig up some plants, and noticed freeze damage on many plants. It is surprising what gets knocked back and what doesn’t. Most of the lilies looked fine, but the asparagus that was about the length of my finger last week was mush this week. My Camassia leichtlinii ‘Electra’ was also reduced to a sorry brown mess:Normally this bulb blooms near the end of May and looks like this. Who knows what will happen this year? I see a tiny bit of green at the bottom of the ruined foliage. Perhaps it will still send forth a misshapen stem.
I was also surprised to see how badly some daylilies were taking it. I know, daylilies? But look at this ‘Hyperion’ foliage.Instead of erect, perky foliage, the leaves are almost prostrate, and the typical bright green of new growth is instead a muted olive green. Not what you usually see in daylily foliage at this time of year. This is a well-established clump of ‘Hyperion’ so I expect it to recover fully, and of all the daylilies in this garden, it probably looked the worse. It is planted in what I consider a warm microclimate, so perhaps it was further along than many of the others, and thus suffered more in the freeze.
Many of the daffodils are done blooming, but I had one variety passed along to me which must have been in full bud at the time of the freeze. They are all blasted and won’t be blooming this year at all. (Blasted means the bud is there, but is papery or mushy and won’t open and bloom.) Then there is another type, Narcissus x medioluteus, that must have not been that far along, as its buds are fine and beginning to open.
This miniature bearded iris had also started to bloom last week:This week, nothing but blasted buds.
It got down to 23F on two successive nights during the past week, and I have to assume it got at least that cold, if not colder, at the old garden. Even if I had been there to cover plants, I’m not sure I would have covered the plants that really needed it. The best thing to do when faced with such damage is to learn all you can from it. Which plants got damaged, and why? Was it because of their location, how far along in growth they were, or are they just not able to sustain hard freezes at all? Does it happen frequently, such as with the cynanchum, or rarely, as with the daylilies? And if it happens frequently, is it a plant I really want to keep?
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