A New Year (Have Your Plants Survived the Winter?)
Quite literally, this is a new year. Anyone who has lived in Austin for more than a year has probably figured out that no two seasons are the same. In fact, we have had more than one season over the course of a few days in Austin Texas and this Winter season is no exception. Many of us will find in the wakening of Spring that many of our beloved plantings will not awaken. As tragic as this is, it is also an opportunity for change.
Trimming back your plants is tricky this time of the year, you trim too soon and another freeze comes and kills the roots, you trim too late and you may have lost precious time to have replanted. I would suggest that you trim in late February, or early March. Be mindful though, that many plants, like Esperanza, Pride of Barbados and Giant Turks cap are late to start. In past years some of these have waited until late April to show their pretty heads so be sure to give them some time. Scraping along the base of the plant can indicate life it there is still some green there. There also may be a recovery at the roots, so this is where patients will be required. Sometimes I can give it a little tug and the dead plant comes right out. A dead plant that isn’t a tree will usually come out without a struggle. There are certainly exceptions to this. If a plant has large roots even a dead one will be a bear to get out. Be sure to use a sharpshooter spade to get this job done. Start cutting in to the soil at the outer branches of the plant and work around it in a circle until you are able to scoop out the plant. Always be careful to look for water lines, gas lines, irrigation and soaker hoses when making these sorts of cuts. Sometimes loppers are needed to cut away large roots that may travel deep or wide.
If you have lost a special plant and many of us will, embrace this as a time for change. All of these plants have gone back to the Earth and will be with us in memory. The hunt can be as fun as the conquest. Make this a time of regeneration and bring some new life into your garden space. Who knows, you may find something even more special along the way.
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
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Quote of the day: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”– Abraham Lincoln
Plant of the day: The Desert Willow Tree..(Chilopsis Linearis).This is a full Sun, deciduous Tree that grows to about 20′. It sports exquisite trumpet shaped flowers all Summer long and has beautifully delicate long skinny leaves. I prefer Burgundy by far, but it also can be found in Pink and White