weather changes
Mon, 02 Feb 2009 16:39:09 PST
On 2 Feb 2009, at 23:27, Uli Urban wrote:

> is one of the coldest winter recorded in Germany.

> There is a bed of exotics covered with cold-frame windows. There are the
> hardy agapanthus, Tulbaghia violacea, Ismene, Albuca shawii and other
> Albucas, Kniphofia, Oxalis, Mirabils and Mexican Salvias in it...... may
> be I should say were in it? As everything is frozen, I assume the damage
> will only become apparent later in spring.

I moved to my present house in the fall of 1988. The hundreds of pots of plants 
I'd dug from my old garden, including many bulbs, were parked on a large lawn. 
Little did I know how badly drained my soil is!

By the end of January 1989, the pots were sitting in a sheet of water and were 
soaking wet. The evening of January 31 (a date I remember all too well), the 
temperature began to drop, a prelude to a month-long cold spell during which 
the temperature rarely got above the freezing point. The result was a 
holocaust, with the majority of the potted plants killed outright by the 
combination of wet soil and an extended hard freeze.

As I carried out the melancholy task of dumping out each pot into a tray and 
looking for surviving bulbs, I dumped all the soil onto an area that happens to 
be one of the scarce winter-dry sites in my garden, knowing that my visual 
examination would overlook very small bulblets.

In the years after, that area produced a number of surprises due to tiny 
survivor bulblets reaching maturity.

Hence some advice for Uli:

Don't disturb the contents of your covered frame. Just leave it and you may be 
pleasantly surprised when things you expected to lose reappear over the next 
two years.

And keep careful track of what has survived, then post the list of geophytes 
here as a record of hardiness.

Good luck.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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