December 8, 2022, was a t-shirt and shorts day in Atlanta with a record-breaking excessive of 78 levels. Little did we all know that just some weeks in a while December 24, our thermometers would dip to a frigid 8 levels Fahrenheit, the coldest temperature seen in our space since 2014. Harm to the gardens within the metro space because of this polar plunge are actually totally manifesting and Goizueta Gardens isn’t any exception.
Olguita’s Backyard, one among 9 signature gardens inside Goizueta Gardens, misplaced the vast majority of its fall-planted seasonal shade. These annuals hold the backyard flowering and filled with shade year-round, however the decorative mustards froze, many violas had leaves fully ruptured, and 150 seed-grown, double-flowered apricot foxgloves frosted beneath their development factors.
Evergreen creeping fig (Ficus pumila) that adorns the stucco partitions all through the backyard turned chocolate-brown however is now resprouting from the bottom, as is ornamental evergreen Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica). The principle hedge for the double border, Fortune’s tea olive (Osmanthus x fortunei), defoliated to just about 100%, three particular seed-grown camellias (Camellia sasanqua) that had been over 20 years outdated have died again from 7′ to 1′ and usually tough-as-nails rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) have misplaced each juicy, aromatic leaf.
In different components of campus, boxwood (Buxus cvs.) and Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) have discolored foliage. Ferns that might sometimes be evergreen like autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) or holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) are closely blemished and will probably be in the reduction of to the bottom. All this carnage definitely brings a tear to each gardener’s eye however do not let it get you down.
Adjusting to nature’s exhausting knocks is a part of gardening, and vegetation are sometimes surprisingly resilient.
Not every part is lifeless! It could simply appear that approach initially.
- For soft-tissue vegetation (seasonal shade for winter shows): if no inexperienced development is seen by this level, the plant IS lifeless. Start planning your spring and summer time backyard!
- For evergreen bushes and shrubs with broken or discolored foliage: flippantly scrape the stem in a small spot, beginning on the tip of the branches and dealing downwards in the direction of the bottom, if wanted. If the inexperienced tissue is revealed, there may be nonetheless life! Proceed to attend for hotter temperatures to disclose the extent of the damages. What would not have leaves within the spring may be clipped off and what does have leaves is what’s left of your plant. If the tip scraping reveals brown tissue, proceed to progress down the stems towards the bottom. The decrease you go, the extra extreme the injury seen. We had a couple of zone 8 rated Japanese blueberry bushes (Elaeaocarpus decipiens) that had been brown ALL the way in which to the bottom. Greater than possible, they are going to resprout from the bottom and we are going to now not be capable to use these specimens of their supposed location as their form will probably be very completely different – taking a few years to grow to be bushes once more.
- For hardy, deciduous bushes and shrubs: they need to be unfazed for essentially the most half as they had been leafless, “asleep” for winter when the chilly got here. The probably injury is to flower buds, that are much less chilly hardy than stem or leaf buds. Among the paperbush shrubs (Edgeworthia chrysantha) misplaced their flower buds on this freeze however will probably be high-quality in any other case. Wait till new development is available in spring earlier than pruning so you’ll be able to see the place any injury ends.
- For perennials: just like deciduous bushes and shrubs, they enter the dormant section previous to the chilly and may pop proper again up as regular within the spring.
One thing I’ve observed over years of gardening is that vegetation typically rated for colder zones like sweetbox (Sarcococca) get “tricked” by a bit of heat spells and may be extra inclined to chilly injury than maybe a zone 7 plant that wants extra heat to get its sap flowing equivalent to Japanese spiketail (Stachyurus praecox).
It is also price mentioning a couple of evergreen vegetation that held up rather well right now, which is simple to notice since most didn’t!
- Poet’s Laurel (Danae racemosa) – a slow-growing, arching evergreen shrub for shade with orange winter fruit
- Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) – a southeastern native shrub or small tree with grey bark, small darkish evergreen leaves and pink berries
- Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) – general fared a lot better than fall-flowering sasanqua camellias (Camellia sasanqua), with slight foliar discoloration however most flower buds are nonetheless intact
- Southern magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) – these evergreen Southern stalwarts had been unfazed
- Coastal leucothoe (Agarista populifolia) – an arching evergreen shrub native to Georgia, that confirmed no indicators of harm
- Korean arborvitae (Thuja koraiensis ‘Glauca Prostrata’) – a dwarf conifer with inexperienced needles above and blue-gray coloration beneath
- Japanese pink cedar (Juniperus virginiana) – no injury seen on many alternative cultivars or the straight species of this native conifer
It is enjoyable to experiment with vegetation and push the bounds of what may be grown in our gardens. Chilly climate will come once more. It could be subsequent 12 months or 10 years from now, nevertheless it’s sure to occur. If you happen to misplaced some particular vegetation, chalk them as much as schooling and expertise and begin re-envisioning your backyard house. In any case, that is what makes an awesome gardener!