weather changes

Jim McKenney
Mon, 02 Feb 2009 16:39:57 PST
Uli, it might seem hard to believe, but it sounds as if your conditions well
over a thousand miles north of me are somewhat similar to conditions here in
USDA zone 7 Maryland, USA.

Here in Montgomery County we are near the northern limit for successful
outdoor cultivation for Camellia (zones here run in roughly a SW to NE
direction, so Camellias are grown several hundred miles north of here, but
the further north you go the closer you have to be to the coast to do it). 

Trachycarpus is definitely marginal here. I've had one in the garden in the
most protected place possible for over ten years. The hardier (under our
conditions) palm Rhapidophyllum is also growing well here. 

And like your garden, mine is still frozen solid. 

Most of the exotics you mention I would not attempt in the open garden here
with any expectation of success. Ismenes can be wintered outside right
against a wall, but otherwise they freeze. The same is true of Mirabilis,
most Agapanthus, Mexican Oxalis and so on. 

But sometimes there are surprises: thirty years ago we thought of Crocosmia
‘Lucifer’ and  Salvia guaranitica as tender plants. But in recent years it
has emerged as a great hardy perennial. 

But there must be differences in our conditions, too. I cannot keep Cyclamen
coum going in the garden for more than a few years here, if that. Planted
where there is winter sun, the foliage is scorched and quickly destroyed.
Planted in winter shady areas, the plants thrive until a particularly wet
summer rots them. I'm about to build a cold frame for them in a shaded part
of the garden: that way I will be able to control summer moisture. 

So while you shiver up there in Germany, remember that we’re also shivering
down here in Maryland. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where Iris unguicularis has bounced back with more buds. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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