October 29th, 2011

Paul Neyron rose 2

Saturday snow

We had a snowstorm.  In October.  At least we'd rescued a couple of my jasmines beforehand.  I know we're lucky to have power.  Apparently a lot of people lost theirs.  I was glad not to have to go outside today.

I thought I'd lost the lemon verbena, but Dad said he put it in one of the sheds.  Who knows, it may have survived the day being in there.  I'm sure I've lost the scented geraniums, the begonias that were outside, and the heliotropes.  I've never managed to get a heliotrope to come through the winter inside, though, and they're available enough in the spring.

We probably got about three inches of snow.  The trees were very laden down.  Many of them still had leaves, so they were quite bowed, some of them.  The lilacs were nearly to the ground, but they can be pruned to ground level and come back, so I'm not terribly worried.  They're hardy to Zone 4, and we're in Zone 6, so I figure they'll survive through whatever.

I don't know if the Tea roses will make it.  A couple of them had buds.  It's not one snowfall that gets them -- it's the freezing and the thawing through the winter.  I've probably said it a number of times, but along with the Hybrid Teas, I got some of the original Tea roses, the ones closer to their ancestors in China.  I have one in a big ceramic pot, and I'd like to transplant that and bring it inside, and put the pot in the shed.  Plants in pots are one zone less hardy than they would be if they were in the ground.  That makes it effectively Zone 5 for them, and they're hardy to Zone 7.  I expect mass casualties.

The majority of herbs I have are naturalized, like the lemon balm and spearmint.  I've added bee balm to my list of things to get in the spring.  We dug it up when we planted the Hybrid Tea roses in what used to be the herb garden, and I stuck a few shoots into a smallish pot.  That died during the drought in the summer.  It shouldn't be too hard to find bee balm, though.  I like the original red.  I had some hybrid that was close in color to that.  I may try to find a kind that gets less mildew, though.

I'll make this list many more times, but I know what I'll look for to plant in the spring.  It will be lemongrass, zonal and scented geraniums, begonias, lemon verbena, patchouli if I can find it, rosemary, heliotrope, bay, calendula (hardy annual), dill or fennel (the seeds mix flavors if they're together -- that's why you're supposed to get one or the other), caraway thyme, and several others as I think of them.