The moment we’ve all been waiting for happened this past week. You know, the one where the true time of year makes itself known, and there suddenly is no going back. Even if balmier weather were to return, some of the lushest, loveliest features have been irreversibly destroyed by the cold. So, even though I will showcase some of the nice things too, this post is dedicated to all the pretty leaves that no longer are adorning my garden. Or, as my friend Gina says – they have gone to the Inventory of the Damned.
First out is Salvia mexicana. I originally fell for this plant because of its pretty leaves. Well, they are pretty even in death, with those ghastly drained veins illuminating the blackened, frozen foliage.
Here is my stately Abyssinian banana, wondering what hit him. Some of the formerly proud leaf paddles resemble the shredded flag of a ghost ship. Completely torn to shreds by the whipping winds. This was after one Arctic day – it gets worse…
Here he is today – my Abyssinian prince has been humbled by King Winter. The red Canna lily in the foreground isn’t looking to thrilled either, but it has been through worse, so I think it will live. The Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ in the first photo seems somewhat withdrawn in this one – also destined to perish.
The poor leaf looks pathetic silhouetted against the rejuvenated bamboo (cooler temps and rain definitely did wonders for its appearance). I know I should have cut the banana down and dug the root up for overwinter storage in our basement earlier, but I didn’t have the heart to do it. It was too beautiful! Now, on the other hand, I think I could do it. If there is still life in it by tomorrow (it will freeze again tonight) I will take it out in the morning.
The formerly fabulous Colocasia has lost its upright splendor, and is miserably bowing to its fate. So sad…
But, pucker up – it’s not all bad. The Windmill palm looked delicious dusted with ice crystals. I have faith it will shrug it off like a mere annoyance.
Another one that won’t let a little cold bother it is the Arizona cypress ‘Raywood’s Weeping’. It was planted a week ago. Remaining upright during the howling wind gusts was its main problem – not the icy temperatures.
It has marvelous foliage! I feel compelled to fondle it every time I walk by…
This Daphne probably has one of the most protected spots in the garden. Sheltered from above by a giant evergreen Magnolia…
…and on one side by this Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’, it was barely affected during last year’s Polar vortex that killed so many of his brethren. It helps to have powerful allies.
I would be lying if I told you this photo was from today. By now, after several days of frigid winds of up to 65 mph, almost all leaves are gone.
One of the now long gone grape leaves, with drops of rain dangling precariously.
Don’t even recall what the name of this one is, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone. This is an annual that I tested out this year. I will be sure to play with it again next year – I love its striking variegation! Sorry for the fuzzy photo which I took as the eastern wind was howling.
This is nothing but a bundle of sticks today, but a week ago, it looked like this. The first time I saw this plant was around this time last year. I absolutely fell in love with its foliage, and have since learned that its flowers are pretty too. It is an Indigofera kirilowii.
Planted an Amsonia hubrichtii this year. It is still a baby, and it was planted just last week, so I will try not to fret too much about its chances. With the sun shining through it, it looks astounding!
This one, I just bought. It is a Parthenocissus henryana. It was planted just days before the cold hit, but it’s of a tougher sort than most, so I’m not too worried about its survival. I adore its purple berries, and the fall color sends my heart aflutter. Love it!
Finally, a couple of discoveries from the nursery that were too good not to share. I marveled at the mutual echo of color and form between these two – a dwarf Alberta spruce, and Euphorbia ‘Rudolph’. I think this could become part of a great winter planter for someone.
And notice how the fall-colored leaves of Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ resemble white and yellow Azalea blossoms (as if there were such a thing). Pretty, aren’t they?
To see more phenomenal foliage, click over to Pam over at Digging and check out what brightens November in other parts of the world.