Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Sad, So Sad

It's a sad, sad situation
And it's getting more and more absurd
It's sad, so sad
Why can't we talk it over
And sorry seems to be the hardest word

As I am watching my beautiful cactus/succulent garden over the last month this song keeps going over and over in my mind.  It has been so cold here and I feel sorry.  Sorry that I couldn't do more or should I say didn't do more to protect my beautiful plants.  Yes I have many in my garage and gazebo/greenhouse.  Yes I put frost cloth over most of my succulent planters.  But in all the years I have been growing my beautiful larger specimens of succulents this has been the worst winter.  The cold has been unrelenting in it's length and destruction.   A couple days of freezing cold in a row is ok now and again.  But we have had weeks on end of temperatures of 32F or lower.  And in that kind of sustained cold my plants just can't take it.  Could I have done more?

Let me show you!

I'm broken

I'm broken!
The combination of the cold and wet made this once prickly pear swell so much that it broke under it's own weight.


I have frost bite

I have frost bite!
It will take a really long time for my Agave to recover.  I will have to do a lot of trimming.


I am mooshy

I am mushy!
This red button prickly pear is frozen and many parts are mush.  I will cut much of it away.


I am frozen and wilting

I am frozen and wilting.
Another agave that will be cut way back!


I'm trying to be strong

I'm trying to be strong.
My large opuntia neoargentina always wilts in the winter.  Hopefully it will recover.


I have the chicken pox

I have the chicken pox.
Hopefully all this varigated prickly pear has is a little fungus and scale.  Most of my prickly pears have scale. Can't seem to get rid of it.


I am really embarrassed by my appearance

I am really embarrassed by my appearance.
My aeonium has tried to send out two blooms.  But both has been frost bit.  I even had this covered.  It usually looks much nicer even at this time of year.  And the kalanchoe marnieriana below was trying to get blooms but the ends are now mushy.


I am so thirsty

I am really thirsty.
At least the only problem with this mini blue chalk fingers in the garage is that it needs water.


I used to be so pretty!

I used to be so pretty!
I even had this covered with frost cloth!


I am needing a whole lot of work and love

I am in need of a whole lot of love.
This area was so beautiful in the summer.  I had it covered with frost cloth but it still took a beating.  I was excited that my pink bower vine against the fence had finally grown in and now it's almost dead again.  It will start growing again though.  It always does.  The aeonium in the middle is Voodoo.  Yes believe it or not.  It is usually a beautiful red.  I'm crossing my fingers on this one and the babies!


I am mad you didn't put me in the greenhouse

I am mad you didn't put me in the greenhouse!
This is my half wine barrel.  The firestick is completely gone and I really wacked the blue chalk fingers way back.  A couple of other plants in the back had melted into the dirt and had to be removed.  Hopefully my echium you see in the back pot will be fine.


I have a headache

I have a headache.
This plant did teach me a valuable lesson.  It seems that the frost cloth was on too tight.  So when it froze the top of this plant froze.  I should have put stakes around this plant so the cloth would not touch.  Next time.


I don't like my color

I don't like my color.
Part of this Kalanchoe Kalancho fedtschenkoi is burned by the cold but it will come back after I chop it back.


I want to be alone in my misery

I want to be alone in my misery.
My Kalanchoe marnieriana is going to be fine.  But the white stuff you see will have to be cut away.


I am dying

I am dying.
I have tried and tried to grow this columnar cactus.  Two winters ago it was scarred by cold.  It started to grow again but now has turned yellow and as you can see the base is turning black.  So it will be dug up and replaced by something else.

Ok, enough of the boo hoo's!  It will be a lot of work but I will clean it up and replace what I lost with something new.  New opportunities for sure!  Anyone want to come help?
Bring on Spring!
Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!



14 comments:

Mark and Gaz said...

Sorry to hear about the prolonged cold that's caused damage to your plants. Hopefully most will be fine and a tidy up here and there are all that's needed come spring.

Sheila Zanella said...

Hi Candice!!
I won't ask you "how are you" I can imagine :(
I'm so sad as well to see your amazing plants and garden. The last post you made the photos were stunning. I'm sure if I was near you I'd like to help you because you lots of things to do...
Thanks for share your garden with us..
Kisses
Sheila
http://vidasuculenta.blogspot.com

Cassidy said...

So sad! I've always been jealous of outdoor succulent gardens (I'm in a zone 5) but it looks like there is always a risk. Good luck with helping your beautiful plants recover! I'm interested to see what happens from here.

danger garden said...

Oh Candice, I feel your pain. After having grown so many plants to beautiful proportions to have them cut back by mother nature truly hurts!

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Thank you so much my dear friends! But just wait until you see the after photos! And looks like I will have to do a lot of cactus/succulents shopping! Moohahahaha

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More) said...

I don't exactly what you feel, Candy. Your damage is much more extensive than mine. I think you got just a few degrees colder than we did. Often that's all it takes.

But as you said, it wasn't the absolute temperatures as much as the unusually long duration of this cold spell.

The good news is that I'm confident your plants will recover, except for that columnar cactus; I think that one is toast. Is that where you thought of planting your ponytail palm?

Jenn said...

Looks familar. Some of my pots are already showing new growth (weird that we went from 25 degrees at night to 82 degrees at day in the course of 36 hours..)

Don't toss that firestick, it looks like it will come back from the base.

I am leaving everything alone and just pulling off the wilted stuff. And keeping everything as close to the house as I can, just in case. We had another frost last night.

Luck!

Anonymous said...

Candy~
On the positive side, with trimming and patience some will survive...at least you have a sense of humor about it...
Cindy Davison

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

I'm so glad you're not discouraged, honey bun. I was at Oasis today and a lot of their nursery stock got bitten. But the display c was a real living laboratory of what survives and what gets damaged when temps drop into the 20s. I was so surprised that crested myrtillocactus were perfectly fine, but right next to them were euphorbias that looked awful, and yet certain euphorbias were fine. Like resinifera. Go figure. Their ruffled echeverias really were hit hard. Those things will never look good again. But Carmen is optimistic, says things will grow back and look great by summer.

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

I'm so glad you're not discouraged, honey bun. I was at Oasis today and a lot of their nursery stock got bitten. But the display c was a real living laboratory of what survives and what gets damaged when temps drop into the 20s. I was so surprised that crested myrtillocactus were perfectly fine, but right next to them were euphorbias that looked awful, and yet certain euphorbias were fine. Like resinifera. Go figure. Their ruffled echeverias really were hit hard. Those things will never look good again. But Carmen is optimistic, says things will grow back and look great by summer.

Julie said...

Well, I know that with your care, these babies will be all perfect in a few short months...still the columnar and the agave are sad, eh? I think you are gonna be loving your new shopping sprees!!! Hang tight Candy!
xoxo- Julie

Succuland said...

Hi Candy
I know it is so sad!
And I can feel your heartbreak about this. Many times cold damages happened same to me to my succulents in my country too. Probably, it is a thing that over and start again! I can see you are doing best on your garden and on your lovely plants. Somtimes wee need to rebuilt!:)

Leslie said...

I am having a few of the same issues here. It was enough colder this winter that things that have been OK for years took a hit. But many of my succulents are in pots and I move them for the winter so I have much less damage. I hope yours come back to life and I'll bet they look good soon!

Ramon said...

Awesome!