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Monday, March 21, 2016

Snow + March = Smarch?

I am not too happy to see snow in march especially after enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s so recently. Fortunately temperatures were mild enough to keep my less tender potted plants outside and it did make for a very nice scene. Here is proof that you can have a tropical look and still enjoy winter! 

My potted livistona palms in snow. 

Although the snow didn't stick to the ground vegetation definitely received a good coating.

My trachycarpus 

Cordyline Australias

My needle palm 

My budding Rosa Rugosa 

Yucca gigantea 


Loquat Tree

European Fan Palm


Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 18, 2016

A few March Blooms

March is a very transitional month here in NYC. We've had our share of warm Marches where it's warm enough to start taking the plants back outside - and we've had our share of cold Marches, that feel like an extension of February.
This march has been pretty mild overall so far and definitely mild enough to make planting pansies a worthwhile effort.

Potted Hyacinth slowly waking up. 

The Daffodils are blooming in full force! 

My loquat providing some green as my other trees start to bud 

Things are doing well indoors too. My Gardenia and Confederate Jasmine have brought the scents of spring in the southeast into our living room. 

My coconut palm looks happy but I am sure it is looking forward to the hot and humid days of summer!

My various other tropicals are also definitely ready for summer also. My Spindle Palm looks like it is ready for a great season. This will be it's 4th summer which is the longest I have kept a spindle palm healthy for! 

Thanks for looking! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Cleanup in the front yard

The weather this week really has been beautiful and I finally had my first official gardening day of 2016. It's definitely safe to officially put away all of the winter protection from the outdoor plants, assess the damage, and do some cleaning up!

Here's some pics!

Tillandsia bulbosa blooms continue!

Front yard before mulching 

Here it is with some mulch and cleaning up! 

Confederate Jasmine loving the March heat

I planted some tulips in the bottom planter back in November and some pansies this past week. It should be an awesome spring planter in another month!

Now for some front yard palm updates! Unfortunately lots of damage this past winter. It was difficult for me to keep up with the quick temperature changes throughout this winter. My sabals only received heat on the coldest night but probably did not see any lower than about 10F. So I am pretty surprised by the damage on the sabals. 

Here's my 6 year old Sabal Minor. It's still green, but it's a smaller size than ever before. My Sabal Birmingham looks almost exactly the same. Some green in the center so I'm optimistic it will survive but I don't know how much it will be growing.

My new Sabal received very minimal protection and looks great! This minor was from Triple Oaks Nursery in NJ. I think finding palms from northern sources is really important when it comes to cold tolerance.

Mediterranean fan palms are generally considered much less cold tolerant than Sabal minors, usually dying at 10F. This plant survived 3F 2 winters ago and this winter it probably saw temperatures in the low teens. It looks good! My "Redneck Rhododendron" proved it is very cold tolerant. It is completely un-phased by this past winter.

My Camellias did receive protection on the coldest night since we were forecasted to go sub zero (fortunately only got down to 2F - every degree counts!). These camellias can handle single digit temperatures as they have the past 2 winters, but I wanted the buds to develop so hopefully my protection methods worked. To the left you can see my oldest (and smallest) Trachycarpus. It's been growing in a one gallon pot for 8 years and I finally decided to plant it in the ground. It only was protected for one night. No damage! 

My loquat sailed through the winter with a few frost cloths and c-9 lights. It flowered back in December but no sign of fruit unfortunately. The foliage is beautiful enough though.

I broke a lot of rules with this Fatsia. Firstly, I planted it in September and you should always plant marginally hardy plants early in the growing season. I also got this from a very tropical source - a nursery in Newport Beach during my visit to California last August. The tender growth was damage during our first frost which was not a good sign, but it actually proved to be pretty cold hardy overall. It was protected but saw temperatures in the single digits. I expect it to get hardier as it gets older.

Finally some spring blooms! The tulips are peaking, the daffodils are budding, and the crocus are at peak bloom! I think this is the best year yet for the crocus, they really look 

The garage plants are getting some much needed air. My cordyline australis was much happier overwintering in the garage this year than in my house last year. It should have a great growing season!  

Monday, March 7, 2016

A few March Blooms (indoors)

March is definitely a transition month here in New York City. Often temperatures are warm enough for planting but it's way too risky to bring most of the tropical stuff outside just yet. But with the 80 degree days we have seen this week and the frost free forecast ahead, the plants around the yard will be greening up very quickly over the next few weeks! It's nice to see some the indoor plants blooming!

This orchid is a reliable bloomer for me. The flowers are very long lasting too. The buds developed outside in October and it's been blooming for 5 months now! 

This fuschia was blooming outside into the new year and it keeps on blooming indoors. A really easy plant and a beautiful one.

Confederate Jasmine is one of my favorite plants. My only complaint is that it doesn't have a longer bloom season. The scent from these tiny flowers is intoxicating. Everyone in zone 8 and up should have these by a doorway (although maybe as a potted plant as they can be aggressive in mild climates).

Tillandsia bulbosa blooming nicely. No signs of pups yet. The mother plant bloomed nearly a year ago and is still alive although it has not grown.

Speaking of waiting patiently for warmer weather my dog is really loving the milder days. She also likes getting more room around the house when the plants are outdoors for the season.