February has to go down as one of the strangest months because I have hardly seen the garden. I got to see the first 10 days, then went for a trip down to Southern California (more about that later) and arrived back on the 20th. Then on the 22nd it started to snow and blanketed us with at least 8″ of snow. Before that had even had a chance to melt and to assess the state of the garden, we ended the month with more snow. Our zone is also confirmed as we set a new low at 22F. So, Zone 9a it is and some adjustments will have to be made in the plants I have been trying to grow.
I am probably going to give up on plants like the Rojasianthe. This has been killed off each winter, even though it loves it here in the summer. I do have one plant left that I have been bringing into the greenhouse when it gets cold, and I hope we manage to get it to bloom.
The new section of deer fence has been constructed. It used a slightly different design to what I had done before. I have written a blog about it here. I think this incarnation of the design works well as it transitions into the Japanese garden. Thanks to the snow, I also know it has been working. On at least for the couple of occasions the deer have passed by.
So many! Our trip to Southern California was based in two locations – Azusa and Carlsbad. Azusa was a convenient location for the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, California Botanical Garden, Glendora Botanic Garden, and Descanso Garden. Then on the way to Carlsbad we stopped at the Fullerton Arboretum and Niguel Botanical Preserve. Around Carlsbad was the San Diego Botanic Garden, Alta Vista Botanical Garden, the Hunter Arboretum, and the Palomar Cactus and Succulent Garden. We later found out that we should not have had access to this garden, but there was someone working in there and the gate was open and he never asked us to leave, so I guess we just got lucky. It is usually by appointment only.
Each of these had a unique character, ranging from highly manicured display gardens to small intimate spaces, to great collections, to slightly unkempt spaces. I have written up the first of them, which you can find here, and will do the others over time.
What’s in Bloom
Under the blanket of snow, I know that the Iris continue to bloom. Before the snow hit, some of the crocus were about to bloom, but didn’t get a chance to take a photograph. Early daffodils are opening.
The numbers do not tell the whole story. January was cold, miserable and windy. Now we add on top record snow fall, not just once, but over a period of a week.
Average temperatures were more than 2.5F colder than last year. We topped out at 61.5F and again repeated our low of 22.5F. There was a period of 5 days when the weather station was not working. This was while we were away and needed to reset the system. That resulted in showing a rainfall of only 6.57, compared to 7.40″ last year. However, it rained during that period and none of the 8″ of snow was registered as rain. All of the snow was blown off the station rather than melting. The other interesting thing was that last year more than ½ the rainfall came on the last day of the month. It was also a windy month with almost every day having winds in excess of 10mph. Last year that only happened on a few days. Peak wind was 35.8mph with a gust of 51.4mph. Even the average wind speed was 3.4mph. That compares to 0.3 last year!