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First freeze tonight! Need advice!

Posted by alteredstate SCCoastal 8b (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 14, 04 at 17:39

It's been unseasonably warm here - until now. It should be in the 20s tonight. Is there anything I should do for my new perennial and shade gardens?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First freeze tonight! Need advice!

It totally depends on what you have planted in them.

RE: First freeze tonight! Need advice!

I typed up a lengthy list of my perennials, but when I posted it, it got lost in the ozone. I covered everything up for the freeze (it got down to 20 degrees), but wonder if that's necessary.

Here we go again:
Mexican sage, russian sage, sweet william, society garlic, catmint, purple coneflowers, white coneflowers, black-eyed susans, ballon flowers, shasta daisies, asclepias, foxgloves, hollyhocks, yarrow, mint marigold, scabiosas, Japanese silver grass. I have daylilies, asiatic lilies and iris that are at least 6 inches high.

In my shade garden: lenten rose, hostas, assorted ferns, fatsia japonicas, camellia japonicas, mahonias, azaleas, toad lilies, bleeding hearts.

RE: First freeze tonight! Need advice!

I've had pretty good luck with most of the stuff in the first part of your list surviving the winter with minimum protection such as a light layer of pinestraw. Good drainage is important, too, especially for shastas and hollyhocks.

On your shade garden list, I haven't had much luck with hellebores, hostas, bleeding heart or toad lily. I had them for a couple of seasons, tried moving them to a different spot in the garden, and none of them has really thrived, although some hostas survive and look OK, but not huge and dramatic.

I planted 12 bleeding heart crowns one spring. They came up, then didn't bloom and then died back in June and never came up again.

Five years ago, I planted 24 hellebore/lenten roses in four different areas of my garden. Today there is one surviving. It still has only two leaves. I read that hellebores resent being moved once their roots are established and I have not moved this one since 2001, but it doesn't seem very happy here.

Your garden microclimate may be differnet from mine. I'm about 25 miles inland from Beaufort SC on a freshwater marsh. In the 5 years I've lived here, we've had a couple of 18-degree nights, but last year the low of the winter was about 25 degrees.

RE: First freeze tonight! Need advice!

Thanks! I'm on Johns Island, just outside of Charleston. It got down to 20 degrees last night.

Most people around here don't have much success with the stuff you mentioned - I'm trying again!

RE: First freeze tonight! Need advice!

Wow, thats cold for Johns Island. I only saw 27 at my house.

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