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Started by Kris AZ. Last reply by Douglas Plotkin Aug 16, 2010.
I didn't see in hail or snow flurries here in (north) Peoria, though from the news the west valley had quite a hail/snow that stuck enough for snowballs. I've put off planting my trough gardens because of the cold. I plan on planting some peas this weekend and hopefully my seedlings weren't started to late to get transplanted in the next couple of weeks.
It was a surprise because it didn't seem cold enough for snow. I've only lived in thr Phoenix area for the last 3 years, moved up from 28 years in Tucson. About every other year or so, If conditions were right - a freeze and rain, we'd get some snow.
Hope the cold snaps ends because I've put away all frost cloth, etc.
Did you experience hail this evening? We did here in northern Gilbert. The temperature dropped 20+ degrees in as many minutes! I thought you all might like to see a snapshot from my west-facing porch.
The white spots in the photo are hail stones falling. The neighbor's roof isn't white, that is hail accumulation completely covering the surface. The trough garden has a parsley and rosemary plant in it, note the hail accumulation on the soil. Just after the hail stopped, I cleared the soil surface. What a surprise this storm was. I have never seen anything like this in the 18 years in residence here in Gilbert.
How did all of your gardens fair?
Let's all enjoy the last warm day of the week, Phoenicians. Low 70s F today and then a virtual 100% chance of chilly rain tomorrow and then coolish days until the weekend. Just for fun here are a couple of plants blooming in the garden right now, a small Mammilaria bocasana cactus, and some type of ice plant/Mesemb (purchased several years ago without a label at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum). Happy gardening!
Thanks, Lorie! Yup, got a good soaking last night here in N. Scottsdale--that and the recent rains are what made me take the plunge with the plant conversion. You're so right about rosemary too--it's really a great plant and I've always grown some (you can look in my photo albums and see a rosemary topiary I've carted around for years), and I've been SO impressed with all of the ones in the ground after this horrible winter I thought I'd just make the conversion. I love scented foliage and always have some rosemary, sages, and several types of scented geraniums (Pelargonium), anyone else like scented foliage? And if so, what are you growing?
Thanks for the nice words on the aloe blooms too. The plant was less than 3 feet tall when I bought it and now it's definitely over 7 feet tall. It's a great plant that has since become very popular around the Valley since there aren't too many tree aloes that love it here (A. dichotoma and now A. 'Hercules'). Fun stuff! Here's an ageratum (A. houstonianum) blooming away right now. It got zorched a bit by the freeze but is bouncing back nicely. Happy gardening all!
Rosemary plants are great. I've always had them somewhere in my garden. They're almost indestructible against our AZ heat and cold snaps. They can get kind of woody with age, like the be pruned for good circulation and sun. And best of all...delicious herbs for meats and roasted root vegetables.
Did you get much of the rain last night? Lovely rain here in Peoria about 2am... I've been lazy about tackling some gardening, though started some tom, zuch, & cuke seeds indoors (maybe a little late).
Enjoy the results of your work today Grant, but it looks great. Oh, and beautful pix of you aloe blooms. :)
I'm spending today ripping out dwarf pink oleanders that surround my covered patio and replacing them with shrubby rosemary bushes. It's hard, gross work but I'm already liking the results! The oleanders really just got too tall and looked annoyed at my pruning/trimming, and the recent cold snap really burned their youngest foliage, so out they're going, LOL. The rosemary plants in the garden, and at work, all look totally great. The ones at work are covered in blooms and bees and I've vowed to make my garden more durable with our weather so this is one of many steps I'm taking. I'm taking a quick break before heading back out there.
In the meantime, here are some blooms from my 7 foot tall tree aloe, the hybrid 'Hercules'. I've had it for five years now and it's doubled in size. These are the first blooms it's made for me. Happy gardening!
Wow, that's a big one, Nancy! It actually looks better than most of mine did, LOL as their tips were already pointing to the ground, LOL. My largest had one fully green stem still but I just took it out since I don't want to deal with looking at it now, or in the future after cold snaps. Let us know what you do with yours.
I planted some more Echinopsis cacti out front this morning, plus a Euphorbia royleana which I had been growing in a pot (it did fine). I've already got an E.royleana in the front garden so I thought adding another one, where the largest pencil "cactus" was, would help add some unity. I've still got a big mess out there, so I'm taking a break for lunch before I had back out until the super bowl. What a mess!
Here's something that's looking good on the east side of the house, some "cape cowslips" (Lachenalia) that I've had for six years now. They bloom reliably this time of year each year. The single bulb has become a nice little clump now. Happy gardening and keep us posted on what you do with the Euphorbia!
I have a 5 foot tall "pencil cactus" that looks terrible. I am feeling the same as you about it. I don't want to have to deal with the frost damage every year. It is beautiful in the fall but looking at dead sticks for months is not worth it to me!
I hear you, Nancy. My garden is NOT great right now either. The cold snap, and then the rain, have really made a mess out there. I'm going to try to at least clean up some of the dropped leaves today, and maybe tidy up some plants and sweep the patio etc. I DID dig up and discard all of the "pencil cacti" that looked awful. Some are just flat out dead, and some looked awful but would eventually come back, but Iz don't want to deal with this kind of damage again, so out they went, LOL. That's been enough to keep me busy lately, hah! One of the pencil cacti (Euphorbia, so not technically a cactus which I know you know) looks untouched, so I left that one alone, but the rest are gone! It's hard like you said to resist trimming some of the leafy things like tecoma and lantana and bougies that will bounce back in spring. I'm trying to be good, LOL. Happy gardening all!
My yard is a disaster but I'm trying to wait until the end of February just in case. It is hard though and it really, really bothers me to wait.
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