Monday, November 17, 2014

Early Cold Snap

It has been cold since the arctic cold front blew in last week. The weekend was cold and damp and Sunday night brought a light dusting of snow. The temperature is expected to drop into the low 20s tonight. Even though a couple of hard freezes turned most of the flowers brown, there is still beauty to be found in the garden. 

The first pictures were taken during a cold drizzle on Sunday morning and the last couple of pictures were taken Monday morning.

The cold and moisture have a way of bringing out the colors in the garden. The blues in the Pale-leaf Yucca and the reds in the Little Bluestem are my favorites. I also like the look of the Variegated Yucca Gloriosa in the center of the picture. 

Agave neomexicana is the toughest of the agaves that I have grown. The others I had froze in a cold winter a few years ago. This one was a little slow to recover when I moved it, but it is now recovered and growing well. This year it had a baby pop up about four feet away.
  
A closer look at some of the Little Bluestem.

Yucca gloriosa from another angle. This yucca has been in the ground for a year now. It looks a little pale during the summer. I am not sure if it is the sun, heat, dry soil or a little of each. It looks great now. During the winter, the light leaf margins turn pink.

Pine Muhly and old Liatris flower stalks give the garden a spiky look. 

Most of the flowers in the garden succumbed to the freezing temperatures. These Autumn Sage flowers are still holding on to a little pink color. They will all be brown soon.

The Gregg's Mistflower may have a few surviving flowers. It is somewhat protected by the canopy of the neighbor's live oak tree.

I wish I knew how to take better close up shots. The silver leaves and purple flowers of Gregg's Dalea shimmer with droplets of mist.

The Skeletonleaf Goldeneye still looks pretty good. It will need to find a new home next year where it does not block the view of the stock tank.

Soon the leaves will drop from the Possumhaw Hollies, leaving the stems bare, except for the bright red berries.

Next year's Bluebonnet crop is doing well in the decomposed granite I added to the parkway. This is where the Snakeherb used to grow before I dug it out this summer. It is trying to make a comeback. I pull out the occasional sprig that sprouts from the deep roots that are still in the soil.

Ugh! Living one street south of a major thoroughfare and a high school means that trash blows into the garden when the wind comes from the north. Back in my lawn days, most of it kept going. Not now. Trash and leaves get trapped among the plants and need to be physically removed.

So that was Sunday morning. Sunday evening the garden was dusted with an unusually early snow. Next are a few pictures from Monday morning. The Little Bluestem and Liatris look great when backlit by the morning sun.




Here is that Bluebonnet again, now covered in snow. 

13 comments:

  1. I couldn't believe DFW was getting snow the other night! Such a strange season already.

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    1. Predictions are for a colder and wetter winter, Misti. It looks like they may be right this time.

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  2. Your garden has so much interest with more contrast in texture and form emerging as the flowers fade. It has been cold, so that gives you downtime to plan for spring when you will be really busy preparing for the tour. The bluebonnets look like they will be a big hit.

    Love the backlit grasses and liatris.

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    1. Shirley, I won’t have much time in the spring since the first tour is at the end of April. In the meantime, I can just enjoy the garden. I am afraid to start any new projects because they always take longer than planned.

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  3. These are all beautiful shots. Your site really helps me see the beauty and possibilities of native grasses. I regret that I used to dismiss them out of hand as being suitable only for wild areas. Gee I am so glad Austin went through with the plastic bag ban. I so rarely find trash blowing here now. It has made a tremendous difference. Sorry about your litterbug problem.

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    1. Debra, I am growing some grasses in pots now. I was afraid some of them, like switchgrass and Indian grass would begin taking over and would be too difficult to remove. They are also a bit of work to clean up in the spring. Keeping them in pots reduces the maintenance and makes them easier to divide.

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  4. Something about the light last weekend made the cactus very dramatic.

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    1. The low angle of the sun makes for some dramatic viewing, Collagemama.

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  5. Looks really lovely before and after the cold blast. I was wondering if you could tell me if your bluestem seeds itself. I have bluestem and have to control it or it will take over.

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    1. I wish my bluestem did reseed some, Rock rose. Mine are all slowly dying out with no youngsters to take their places. I would like to have some of that reseeding variety. I must have a sterile unnamed hybrid.

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  6. How pretty to see the grasses and other plants with the dusting of snow on the ground. Strange, though, to see winter arrive so early, isn't it?

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    1. Yes, the snow is very unusual for November, Pam. I wonder what else the winter has in store for us.

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  7. My sister lives there, I don't think she grows natives. The Little Bluestem is a pretty color, and looks nice with the Yuccas. The backlit photo is very pretty.

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