We’ve been having pretty low temps in the Portland area over the last several days. We were lucky enough to be out of town during the coldest bit. But upon our return, I was able to see lots of evidence of the low temps we’d seen in the garden.
Abutilons that were sporadically blooming days ago, have finally succumbed to the cold, their withered foliage fried by frost. I fully expect that almost all will bounce back, in many cases they’ll re-foliate on existing wood; worst case, they’ll push new growth from the base.
I’m experimenting with leaving a tree fern, Dicksonia squarrosa, in-ground this winter in a sheltered spot in the back garden. We’ll see how that works out – it’s looking pretty sad right now, but I have faith. Several years ago, I had a Dicksonia antarctica winter over in the garden for four winters.
Euphorbia stygiana, an evergreen, shrub-like perennial that’s been in the garden three years appears as if he’ll be just fine. Even though his foliage is drooping a bit, I’m not worried because I’ve seen it behave similarly in the past. This bold, almost tropical-looking, plant was unfamiliar to me when I first put it in. I didn’t know what to expect. Now at 6’ tall & wide, it’s a central feature of my back garden and I am heartened by my growing confidence in its winter hardiness.
My Melianthus major has only once (perhaps twice?) come through the winter with its foliage relatively unscathed. At this point, it’s hard to say whether it will die back fully this year. In any case, my plant’s been in the ground a number of years and I’m fully confident it’ll push vigorous new growth this spring when the weather warms. Even if some of the top foliage does hold out, I’ll likely cut it away to make way for the fresher, more attractive, growth from the base.
I’m sure there’s evidence of other, maybe even more severe, winter damage out there. But, it’s too way too cold for me to go out take a closer, more detailed survey. What’s done is done; I'm gonna stay inside where it's warm and check it out later.