Saturday, April 3, 2010

Some Things I Thought Were Dead That Aren't Dead

The killing frosts in December left a lot of blackened sticks behind that used to be sturdy perennials: salvia and sage, geraniums and fuschias. They all looked as dead as dead can be. But I know from experience that a plant that is a certain goner can fool you. So I let them sit there through the winter. Now, along with the rest of the burgeoning growth that is filling the backyard, these plants are reviving. Dead sticks are festooned with green. Above is Salvia elegans. The common name is Pineapple Sage and this particular one is Freida Dixon, a cultivar with pink blossoms.

This one is Salvia chiapensis. At its peak it has stunning bright fuschia blossoms, long and hollow the way hummingbirds like them. Evidently there are hundreds of salvias, some called sages, and all members of the mint family. (Factoid of the day.)

This is another Pineapple Sage, which will eventually have bright red tubular blossoms. It's sprouting from the base. The blackened sticks are about three feet tall and a few have some festoons. It is also festooned with a lady bug, for contrast.

This is a geranium, I don't know what kind.

Another geranium, with a friendly volunteer viola to keep it company.

A fuschia bush coming back strong.

It's not quite time to prune back the damaged parts of these plants. We are not out of the frost zone. I keep reading in the paper about local vintners who are watching their budding grape vines nervously, worried that one of the cold nights we've been having might encase those delicate buds in ice.

There is not as much at stake in our yard of course, but it's still wise to wait.

No comments: