Monday, December 13, 2010

First snow of the winter US National Arboretum

There was a dusting of snow on the ground this morning, both at home and at the Arboretum (look very closely).The large Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, (a SE US native, not an Asian plant at all) seems happy enough in China Valley. Temperatures fell all day as as the jet stream dipped towards the Gulf of Mexico. It's supposed to go down to 21F tonight here and, get this!, 20F in Central Florida. Wow~ We're going down for two weeks just after Christmas but this may take all the fun out of it.

The winter visit usually finds the garden in the best shape of the year. It doesn't rain a lot in late fall, but there are heavy dews and the temperatures are so much cooler than they were in late summer that the plants seem content. Typically temperatures did dip into the low 20's sometime in late January or early February producing considerable dieback. By the spring visit though things have begun to grow back so I cut back and it's all good. It'll still be all good in the spring, but it's going to be ugly now. Oh well; a certain amount of "dealing with adversity" is part of gardening.

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