I am happily back in Portland in time to prepare for our upcoming cold weather (nights in the low 20’s), naturally I had been concerned that cold temperatures might move in while we were away and I wouldn’t be home to protect my semi-tender plants (and my husband thinks I am a worrier, ha!). As luck would have it things were nice and mild here over the holiday.
My parent’s zone 5 garden was looking good, with plants showing off extra color due to the cold temperatures (like the sedum above), adding winter interest with their tawny foliage, and even a few with flowers. My father is the creative mind behind this tomato cage art installation. They are hanging next to the vegetable garden ready for next summer.
This once healthy fern specimen decorates the back of his shop.
My mother reports that up until a few weeks ago the poppies actually had buds, the foliage sure looks healthy.
My yucca love was inherited, mom tells a story about rescuing a truck load of yuccas that had been pulled out of a garden and headed to the dump. She inquired about them and the next thing she knew they were hers.
They look great no matter the temperature.
While I didn’t inherit any love of pansies I could appreciate its perky purple flower in the dead of winter.
Bergenia is another plant that gets incredible color when the temperatures dip.
It seems everyone’s Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ looks great in the winter except mine.
I believe this is a Mahonia…I have no idea which one.
Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle).
A freeze-proof/wind-ready bird bath.
I remember mom falling for this Saxifraga at a Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale. We were unsure of its hardiness but encouraged by the vendor she purchased it…looks like it’s doing just fine.
These expired seed heads add great texture!
As does this grass.
Another tough flower, a yellow primrose.
And more beautiful grass.
I’m guessing this may be a Cotoneaster? I really should have asked my mom for id on some of these plants but the visit went so fast I missed doing several things I meant to do.
Sempervivum are another plant passion that we share. In fact my brother and I joke that my mom is a “hens and chicks pusher” (as opposed to being a drug pusher). She is always ready to dig a few and send them home with us.
Up on their deck were the remains of a once beautiful Cordyline. And a terra cotta pot that shows the effects of the freeze/thaw conditions.
Unfortunately so does this Agave. Another purchase from the HPSO spring sale in 2009 it had a good run. Who knows maybe it will bounce back and live to see another hot Spokane summer?
For a tour of my parents garden in the summer click here, pictures from a visit in June of 2009.