Late Freeze

A little over a week ago snow and rain and then freezing nighttime temperatures hit this part of Pennsylvania.  Plants were frozen solid and frost covered the lawns in the wee hours of the night until the sun finally came out again to warm things up.  There was damage to many things, but even a week later things are still showing up.  Luckily these blue columbines didn’t miss a beat. aquilegia vulgaris blueStrawberries also looked good on the surface, but closer in you’ll see black centers to some of the blooms.  I think the freeze killed off the berry part of the bloom while the flower was developing.  Good thing there are more coming.freeze damage strawberrywisteria flowerThe wisteria was getting ready for a great show, a good recovery from last years freak freeze that killed all of 2012’s bloom.  Then this freeze came and did the same thing all over again.  Here’s how it looks today, most leaves are dead and damaged and the blooms have all fallen off.

freeze damage wisteriaEven with the damage on most shrubs and trees, I have no doubt they’ll all make a full recovery (the aggressive wisteria for sure).  The dried and damaged leaves won’t look good for weeks and maybe all season, but if it’s not a freeze ruining perfection it would be chewing bugs or children with golf clubs or something worse.

Enough about the freeze.  How can you think badly of spring when it’s the start of iris season?  Down along the street the historic ‘Ambassadeur’ (1920) is just coming into full bloom.  It’s not a favorite, but grows like a champ and the grape scent perfumes the area.iris ambassadeur

I’ve got to move those boxwood, they were never supposed to stay there.  I have hedging issues and for some reason always have a couple dozen little boxwood cuttings coming along and in need of a spot to call home.  There are projects galore to deal with around here and finding homes for hedges is always one of them.  It seems like such a good idea in August to take a couple dozen cuttings, but when you have a tray of fifty looking for a home guilt kicks in.  Enough guilt.  Here’s more iris.  This is ‘Pink Bubbles’, a more modern iris…. I’m not crazy about it this year but the violas make a nice backdrop.iris pink bubble

4 comments on “Late Freeze

  1. You are right, the Iris ‘Pink Bubbles’ and the violas make a wonderful combination. Do you know the name of that viola? You are brave to grow the wisteria. How to you keep it in control? I am thinking of trying one of the native ones; they’re not as spectacular but also aren’t as thuggish.

    • bittster says:

      The violas are just self sown johnny jump ups… the mongrel offspring of whatever small violas and pansies I’ve planted over the years.
      I keep the wisteria isolated and pruned to a shrub/tree. As long as it can’t reach out and grab onto anything it’s not AS bad as if it has a chance to romp. Plus our winters are a bit harsher and summers not as long, that goes a long way in keeping it in check.
      I’ve come across the native ones here and there in the local woods, they’re also an excellent plant and for what you give up in bloom you gain in having a more well-behaved plant.

  2. I have a lot of boxwood on my property and some can from cuttings too. I use them to keep the perennials neat. I have them “boxing” in the iris as a matter of fact. Then the lilies fill this bed. I have it in a recent post how I use the boxwood. We too have been getting freezing temps. But it is not unusual for here in Niagara Falls. I see you are from NE PA. Like Scranton? I am originally from SE PA, near Philadelphia.

    • bittster says:

      thanks for visiting, I also find the boxwoods keep things neat, and I’m planning to plant a couple extras around what will become an iris bed (as soon as I can kill off an invasion of campanulas!) Yes, I’m between Scranton and Wilkes Barre, a bit in the valley which helps with the weather.

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