Friday, April 4, 2008

Dead or Alive?

It's this time of the year that I could use a little more common sense and patience. Once the spring bulbs start blooming in the gardens, I start looking for new growth from the perennials. Of course I see some - a lot, really - but there are many things that look as dead as can be.

Are they dead or aren't they?

And the answer to that is, "Time will tell." Common sense tells me that not everything wakes up from winter's sleep at the same time, which means I need to be patient while waiting for the late bloomers. But knowing it in my head doesn't stop me from worrying about what might have been lost to winter's brutal conditions.

I'm seeing growth from the base of some of the mums, the gaillardias, and heucheras, just to name a few. But the hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus) and Echinaceas are showing no signs of life just yet. I'm fairly certain they're all just fine, as I've had them for a few years and haven't lost one yet.

Other perennials are also not showing growth yet and I'm not as familiar with their growth patterns, so I'll just have to take a wait and see attitude with them. More than once, I've feared that something has died, only to have it spring to life a little while later and thrive.

As they say, patience is a virtue.

Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Satin'
Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite'


Norm Deplume said...

I'm in that waiting game too. I put in a bunch of perennials in our new-ish-to-us house last year, but was quite ill in November when I should have been out mulching them. So I just have to wait and see. We had a pretty cold winter, too.

Here's to hoping!

garden girl said...

I do it too, especially in the last four years in this house, because I lose so many plants here over the winter. Some are weather-related casualties, others are consumed or dug to death by the critters.

This spring my inspections are revealing more promise than in previous springs here. As much as I cursed our near-record snowfall, I think the snow cover helped my garden.

Unknown said...

Patience is tough, but those hibiscus are killers in regards to slow starts. I'll never forget the time when I was looking through my aunt and uncle's yard in early June. I asked them what those dead shrubs were, and she answered, "Oh, they're not dead. They're hardy hibiscus. And they're just now starting to come up for the year." Yikes! :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Have patience Kylee. My hardy hibiscus is one of the last ones to awaken in the spring. It is way early for them yet. We do get anxious to see signs of life don't we??

Barbara said...

I'd always wondered if hardy hibiscus were actually hardy. They just 'sound' too tropical. But if you say you've had no trouble with them in NW OH, I bet I could add them to my mother's garden in NE IN!! I'm going to have to add that to the list of things to ponder for next year...

Anonymous said...

I now what you mean about wondering if it's alive or dead. I have a Coral Vine that just looks like a twig sticking out of the ground. I almost dug it up but I saw the Coral Vines at the nursery looking the same way, so I'll leave it for now. Patience! :)

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ These last few days of sunshine and warmth have done wonders for the gardens, haven't they? But there will always be the late bloomers that worry us. Even though we know they'll be late, we still worry!

Garden Girl ~ Absolutely the snow cover is a wonderful thing for our northern gardens!

Kim ~ I knew that hardy hibiscus were late ones when I planted them, but I still get anxious over them! I did lose one last year - 'Blushing Bride' and it was a nice one, too. :-(

Lisa ~ Oh, I've always known they're late, Lisa, as are other things, but at this time of year, my first reaction to those late things is, "Oh, I hope this will make it." It's like once I see life in the garden, I want ALL of it to come to life NOW, just so I can quit worrying that it died. That's just life in a northern climate... LOL.

Babs ~ Oh absolutely you can grow them here! They do well! And why wait until next year? Plant them this year! :-)

SusiesQs ~ Yes, there are several things that need a longer sleep time and don't want to come out and play until it's really good and warm. Like some people I know. LOL.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

This happens every year doesn't it, come spring. I have it too and am often very relieved to find a plant very much alive that I thought was dead.

blogger templates | Make Money Online