02 May 2014

The Deadbud And Friends

The winter damage to the garden is now coming into focus. The Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis) is now a 'red dud.' This is the most difficult loss. About fifteen years ago, I received a handful of Chinese Redbud seeds from the National Arboretum, as did other volunteers there. One the arboretum's heads went on a plant gathering expedition to China and came back with some material.

Pineapple Sage
Three of the seeds germinated. One was ripped up the following year, being mistaken for a weed. Another was probably run over by a mower. The third survivor, however, did not grow much over the years.

Three years ago, I made a real effort to improve its soil and encourage its growth and development. It responded, growing new branches and reaching about 7 feet tall (2m) last year. Every spring I looked forward to seeing it bloom, and every year I was disappointed. Just one more year of growth I thought.

I was excited this year again, but the buds on it swelled and then dried up. The branches and twigs are now dry and easily snap. Fifteen years of coddling, a tree planted from seed, and now it's all gone before blooming. I am hoping for some resurrection at its base if the roots are good, but so far there is nothing.

Winter Damage Update
Totally unexpected, the pineapple sage is coming back to life. New shoots are appearing from the dead sticks; who can mistake that chartreuse color?

Rosemary has some tiny seedlings arrayed around the dead trunk. They are too small to identify as weed or foe, but will be watched as they mature in hopes that rosemary will rise again.

A surprise death is the cardoon. It grew throughout the winter as usual, but a spring thaw followed by a severe refreeze did it in. The stems turned to mush as a rot set in. There are some seedlings appearing near the old plants that again are unfamiliar. They could be weeds or could be cardoon seedings, which reportedly are somewhat invasive. Invasive would be nice this year.

California poppy seedling
Finally, the California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are popping. Freely seeding themselves, maybe they will bloom by fall. The original plants have disintegrated this past winter.

For The Record:
  • Blooming: Azaleas, allium, wood phlox, salvia


Jean Campbell said...
It is still early to pronounce plants. I am seeing new growth daily on what looked like corpses.

I noted on your plant list that your Oakleaf Hydrangea died. I am invaded by suckers -- how many could your use?
Swimray said...
A replacement for the oak leaf would be great!