What's looking good (or awful) in your garden, January 2013?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)January 4, 2013

Happy New Year everyone, I hope yours is off to a good start! Mine definitely is now that the weather has gotten better. I had (still do) a house full of out of town visitors for the holidays and I did NOT enjoy the below average temps, rain, and cloudy days. I'm glad the weather was decent for the Fiesta Bowl parade and game.

I'm also glad to see us back in the mid 60's F and even some low 70's in the near term forecast. What about you? Did you get any frost last week? I was spared, but just barely! What about your garden? Any damage? Did you cover?

Here are a couple of things looking good this week. I hope you'll take a quick look and enjoy them, AND share updates (pics or no) about what looks good or awful in YOUR garden.

Aloe dorothea blooming away all over the garden. This aloe is mostly grown for its wonderful winter foliage color, but these almost-red winter blooms are definitely lovely too. They can get zorched in cold winters, but so far this winter they've done great. Definitely one of the more frost tender aloes, though mine have done great without any protection for several years now.

'Vista Bubblegum Pink' petunias going INSANE in a large glazed red pot on my patio. I really love the color, and the abundance of blooms, and the neat very branched, bushy/cascading habit of this variety. Like all petunias here, it's a great performer late autumn through early summer.

A Stapelia blooming on the east side of the house. Most of my stapelias bloom heavily in late spring and then again in very early autumn, but they can throw out a random bloom any day of the year, like this one that opened today. Great, fun, fly-pollinated stinkers! Wilson the tennis ball included to show size.

Finally, a fun, huge, Ageratum houstonianum plant that is just covered in fun blue flowers. This "blue floss flower" has a reputation for not tolerating heat, but this plant (and others in the garden) survived our long hot summer just fine, even making the occasional summer bloom. Now it's absolutely covered in flowers. It self sows around my garden and I definitely encourage it!

Okay, your turn! Let us hear/see what's looking good or awful in your garden. Happy gardening everyone!

Here is a link that might be useful: What's blooming in my garden, so far, January 2013

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I don't have any pics but my Hong Kong Orchid tree is looking great and it's blooming. Kind of odd because I thought they only bloom in the spring time.

I've left all my tropical plants unprotected despite all the frost and that one day of below freezing temps. All of them still look great, but the Cannas are showing a little bit of frost damage. My plumeria still haven't dropped its leaves which is odd as well.

In the backyard I have some Moreton Bay Fig seedlings planted in my raised bed (took a fruit home with me from San Diego this past summer). I'm surprised to see them doing well and undamaged from all the frost and freezing temps :)

I really hope they can handle the summer here. I can't wait till I grow them into a huge tree :D

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Only a fellow gardener will see this as "Looking Good!" It's the asparagus bed I've been prepping for about a month. Added more garden soil, bunny poop and myco's yesterday, turned it all under and watered. Asparagus crowns should be along shortly.

Lettuce - I've clipped it once, not growing as profusely as I'd intended. Darn it!

This *was* a very pretty bucket of nastursium leaves - until I forgot to cover it on a cold night. The wire cage was to keep the dogs from eating it all, they love salad the little buggers. Shouldda let 'em have at it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if it's looking good for awful but I had 1 of my amaryllises diet back from the cold and now there is a bloom shooting up I hope it survives in this cold weather that we've been getting

This post was edited by Devonfawn on Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 17:45

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I think your asparagus bed is looking good too, Mary! Keep us posted on how it does for you. Your lettuce looks nice too. Yummy! How is it faring with this cold snap??

I hope your amaryllis bloom survives, Devonfawn. One of my variegated 'Mrs. Garfield' was making a bloom stalk but this awful cold cut it back hard. Ugh.

The good news for me is that the aloe in my first pic above still looks fantastic despite this awful cold spell. But since I'm always asking what looks good AND awful here's one of each, LOL.

Merremia dissecta foliage and turbinia foliage, totally zorched after several nights below freezing:

AND a geranium and 'Raspberry Blast' petunia still going strong.

Happy gardening all, keep the udpates for good or bad coming!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, since pictures henceforth are going to be in the "awful" category due to the freeze, thought I'd post a couple of pics of better days. This was the beginning of January after we had put the bar top in. The potted kumquat, plumeria, and hibiscus are fine since I could move them further under the patio and cover, but those three bougainvillea are looking pretty crispy even though I wrapped them.

This post was edited by PhxLynne on Wed, Jan 16, 13 at 2:15

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

..and this was part of the last harvest the afternoon of the 11th.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

BEAUTIFUL patio and arbor, Lynne, just beautiful. I absolutely love it! Thanks for posting it so we can all enjoy it.

Great harvest there too. Thanks for the pictures and updates!

Happy gardening all,

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grant- I am sorry to say but I think the new color in most peoples garden went from green to black. Thursday and Friday it starts to warm slowly down there, but up here in Camp Verde it will still be colder than a well diggers A##

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Grant! Yes, it was nice while it lasted. Surveyed the damage today. All 15 of our bougs look like the big one in the picture. Can't wait till the chance of frost is over so I can prune and start coaxing everything back to life.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Most everything looks either dormant or awful, except my annual cool season veggies mostly consisting of salad fixings. I even have carrots and they're good!

Here's the status of my vines:

The Hardenbergia violacea (lilac vine) did well unprotected during the freeze -- the buds still look good. I'm really happy about that because it's a favorite of mine since it's such an early bloomer. It's supposed to be hardy down to 28 degrees. It's pretty easy to keep it reasonable through the growing season with one or two trimmings mid-season.

The Antigonon leptopus (coral vine) froze as expected. This year I plan to water it more than before in the hope that it will grow more. It just hasn't been doing all that much the whole time I've had it -- maybe 4 years?

The snail vine (Vigna caracalla, syn. Phaseolus caracalla, Phaseolus gigantea) that I planted last June(!) grew all season like it was glad to be in the brutal heat. It did get plenty of water. It was at least 12 feet by the time the growth stopped. Now it also froze but not killed to the ground so I think it will come back. This is probably a house eater so if it doesn't freeze every year, it might be a good idea to cut it back hard at least every couple/three years to keep it reasonable. Anyone else have experience with this guy and can advise?

I would post pictures but nothing is really worth showing.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Scary bougie PhxLynne, LOL. It looks like it has enough older/thicker growth to survive. What do you think? Seems like any stems thicker than a quarter inch or so end up resprouting in spring. Sorry it took such a hit.

Haname, sorry too for the damage on your lovely vines. As you mentioned, snail vine and queen's wreath often get cut back in chilly winters, so I imagine yours will recover. I hope so. Definitely keep us posted.

My Merremia dissecta plants were cut to the ground, but I already see new sprouts (and they're just easy from seed anyway), so there's hope out there.

Here are a couple of plants looking good though, that's always nice after such crummy weather, LOL.

Oxalis 'Grand Duchess' blooming away, unbothered by the recent cold. Definitely the largest-flowered oxalis I've ever seen. Wilson the tennis ball included to show relative size.

A quick pic looking at the western part of the back patio, plus part of the back yard. Not the best its ever looked, but not too bad either. The citrus were totally wilted after The Big Freeze, but have since perked up a bit.

Lobelia, which is very frost/freeze tolerant, blooming away after just a few days of above-freezing temperatures, in a silly fun dove-shaped talavera pot.

Happy gardening all! I say bring on the HEAT. :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

If you like petunias as much as I do, please get and grow some 'Old Fashioned Climbing' from Select Seed Company (online/paper catalogs). It survives our summers and our winters just fine (many petunias are autumn through late spring only and then fade in the heat--but not these, they actually survive the summer).

Here's a white one blooming away next to an Aloe maculata (formerly Aloe saponaria). Neither plant was covered in any way over the recent cold snap and both look great every single week of the year.

The petunia is an old fashioned type, and comes in a range of colors from white through pinks, purples, mauves, etc., and yes, they are tall and lanky (not exactly climbing, but clambering) and they're super fragrant at night. The aloe is bullet proof too, so I thought I'd share a quick pic. I hope you take a look and enjoy. I'm certainly appreciating these plants more than usual due to their durability!

Happy gardening,

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, Grant, you really have a petunia that lasts through summer? Can you elaborate on how and where you have it planted? Also, did you plant from seed or order plants from Select Seeds?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya plstqd and all,

Yup, I really, REALLY do have a petunia variety that survives our summers here: 'Old Fashioned Climbing' mix from Select Seeds. I've convinced several other local gardeners to try it and all have had great success with the plants. I should be getting some kind of royalty from Select Seeds, LOL.

Anyway, I got my original plants (in 2003) from SEED that I started indoors and then planted outside in very early spring. Those plants have self-sown all over my previous garden and in my current garden (both in Scottsdale). No individual plant lasts forever but most last 3 or 4 years before petering out, and they self-sow nicely around the garden which is really fun.

In my old and in my current garden the happiest ones get some afternoon shade, so along the east side of the house, or walls or big shading plants, seems to keep them happiest. I wouldn't trust them to survive the summer in a pot in sun, but in the ground with afternoon shade I've had great luck long term.

Just keep in mind they're lanky and tall (but they bloom nicely) so they flop around after the stems get super long, and the flowers aren't HUGE or bright, but they come in nice colors from lavender through white with some pinks and in-betweens too. They ARE heavily scented at night though, especially in spring/autumn. The plants look a bit tired in summer (who doesn't?!) but most survive, so plant several and be sure to collect seed or let them self sow.

I think they're really great. The one in this pic, a nice crisp white with the telltale veining right at the center, has done great in the ground for almost three years now, and got zero protection in summer or winter. What's not to love?

If you or anyone gives them a try (in the ground!), let us hear how they do for you. Select Seeds usually sells seeds AND plants in spring, and then seeds only in autumn. I'll post a link if I find one that works. I've ordered from them for many years and have been absolutely pleased with everything I've gotten, and no, I don't work for them or get a commission, LOL. I wish!

Happy gardening all!

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Fashioned Climbing petunia seeds from Select Seeds

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, this I have got to try. I don't mind lanky, and I have an eastern wall that's begging for some no fuss plants (plus it's under our bedroom window, so evening fragrance would be most welcome). If Select Seeds ever does start offering a commission, I'll be sure to point mine your way :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:00AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tree ID - white trunk and
There's a few of these growing along the south side...
Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ
NOT in love with my sapote tree
Hi everyone, I'm so NOT in love with my grafted sapote...
Austin roses for the desert?
I am California but your climate is closer to your...
Desert Botanical Garden Spring Sale
FYI, their Bi-Annual Plant Sale is this weekend... Link...
asudevil311 - zone 9b
growing chilitepin pepper bush
I would like to grow a bush of chili tepin peppers....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™