Winters of past, last year - what did you lose?

linlily(z5/6PA)April 21, 2014

Not only was our past winter just plain brutal to man, beast, and plants, spring has just now sprung in the past few weeks. We've been cleaning leaves out of the beds and there are a few plants that I already see that have not survived - nothing left but dead crowns that are not attached to anything. I checked the soil and there is nothing alive there. Very disappointing to me were the loss of:

Orkney Cherry Cranesbill - this was a 2 year old plant and it is very hard to find replacements. Only sold in two places on line. Perfect size for where I put it and it blooms off and on all growing season. So, sigh, I'm rebuying.

Heather Erica x darleyensis we put in the front landscaping last year. My daughter has 3 huge plants put in by a landscaper probably 6 years ago. All were lush and gorgeous so I went out and purchased mine. She lost all 3 of hers as well.

Star Jasmine -large in a large pot- that has overwintered in an unheated garage for years - probably 16 years old - did not make it.

The jury is still out on Gaillardia Arizona Apricot, Salvia Black and Blue, and Salvia Patens Patio Deep Blue. I don't expect to see either of the Salvias even though they have been here for 4 or more years.

What did you lose that surprised you?

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1 rose of sharon
1 hibiscus mutabilis
1 hibiscus ???
2 angel trumpets
all dahlias
all callas
seemingly all but one tulip, which I didn't know was possible.
only 3 hyacinths came up.
my spider lilies didn't come up


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Looks like my mature Weigela 'White Knight' might be toast. I planted it nearly 6 years ago and never expected it to be a casualty of winter weather extremes. So far there's not even a hint of new growth on it.

Thought I might have lost my 'Helen Von Stein' lamb's ears to the harsh winter but they're finally sending up new growth...whew!!

It's good to see quite a few other things poke up their heads: globeflower, veronica, tall phlox, bellflower, columbine & hosta.

4/27 update: there's new growth on my Weigela!!

This post was edited by gardenweed_z6a on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 17:20

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm thinking I've lost Asparagus, is that possible? Either that or it's late. Also Dicentra spectabilis, which I thought was really hardy. The white ones that I planted last year have come up looking pretty skimpy, but I had huge patches of pink Dicentra, that are much older and I am not seeing those yet. I would think they would have come up the same time as the white.

Jury is still out on a few Hydrangea, and the one Camellia I've had on a trial basis has flunked the test. It's been awful for the second spring in a row and I won't be buying more of them. It is one that is supposed to be hardy to zone 6.

I have lost two Butterfly Bushes. Two more have minute growth at the base, which I am not sure is going to be enough.

This is the most I've lost in one season due to weather that I can remember. And it's still early, I won't know about epimedium and hosta and ferns for awhile yet.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:28PM
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All of my verbena plants except the moss variety...and a good portion of that looks dead. Seen here in last years picture.

These were 1-2yrs old and it's my first time losing something over the winter. Then again, this is my first flower bed and it's only a little over 2 years old. But still, I almost cried when I realized they were not coming back, and I had to pull them up.

Now what to replace them with....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:54PM
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prairiemoon2, don't give up on those butterfly bushes yet. When we had those nice, warmer winters, I would see growth on the branches slowly show up and some years would just trim off anything dead that did not leaf out. Other years, I trim back to 12 inches as soon as I see growth, even from the ground to control the size of the plants.

This year, so far, I've not seen any growth on any of mine, but it's early and sometimes they don't break dormancy until later. So, don't count all them out yet.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 11:17PM
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babera(5a (Montana))

I think it's still a tad early to attribute any loss to winter kill. . . I do have a few things that I am suspicious of maybe not making it. . . but I'm not going to concede for a few more weeks. . .I was out digging around today and a few tings I lifted with the shovel just to see what was going on. . . there was actually life way below the surface that in a normal year would have poked thru the ground by now. . . I think the ground is still a little chilly to wake them up. . . (PS, I could be changing my response in a few weeks. . . just hopeful for now)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 11:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks Linda, there is one little inch of a green stem at the base of a very dead looking shrub on two butterfly bushes, but compared to previous years, it really took a hit this winter. Here is photo of what one of mine looked like on May 6th in previous season. I know none of my butterfly bushes are going to be looking like this on May 6th. But I definitely won't dig them up and toss them for awhile. And any that even have a small amount of growth will be saved.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 6:45AM
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We've been greening up for a couple months here now. Even so, some things are just now coming around even though the ground has been warm for quite some time, we have been in the 70's & 80's consistently for a while now.

I am not calling anything dead or replacing it until another month goes by. Often the roots underground are still OK while the plant looks very dead on top. I'm noticing a lot of this.

I've got some Salvia greggi leafed out & blooming while some are just now leafing out in spots but the stems are green under the bark, others died to the ground but are putting up new growth at the base & others are still showing nothing. I am leaving these all alone except for trimming off dead stems.

A small cenizo I was sure was dead is just today putting up a tiny speck of growth at ground level by the dead stem so I'm hopeful on some others now. I'd been calling those a loss for sure. The large established one is fine & leafing out so I knew it was OK. Same with some of the damianita that was for sure very dead looking although others are greened up & starting blooms. These both are just barely in my zone, so I'm giving them all a chance.

It was just one of those harsh winters so spring is coming along much slower & in spurts.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I'm in Middle Tennessee. We had near zero degree temps for a few nights, then it warmed up and things started leafing/budding, then we had a 15 degree night on April 15.

The worst hit my garden took seem to be the David Viburnums. They were complete goners and I dug them out. They were a little marginal for our area, so I guess it's not a big shock. I found some small ones at Lowe's last week and replaced them. :) Going to give it one more chance, because I sure did love them. They were about three years old and had done just fine in previous years.

The other thing that looks just dreadful right now is Mahonia Soft Caress. I was expecting that it would not do well and had covered it on the really cold nights, but even so, it suffered a LOT of leaf loss and is extremely scraggly looking. It's alive, though, and it really is beautiful so I will give it a chance to recover.

I was afraid I'd lost my Kaleidoscope Abelias, but they have leafed back out nicely. I'm still waiting on the Carolina Moonlight Loropetalums...they lost all their leafs too, and are trying to push out new ones but really taking their time.

I also had a lot of Oriental/Asiatic lilies disappear. I don't know if that was cold or voles...? I wouldn't think they would have a problem with the temps.

Lo and Behold Butterfly Bush leafed out last year on previous years' stems, but this year it was only coming back out at the base so I cut all the stems back.

What a funky late winter/spring this has been!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:45AM
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We have another cold snap right now. My Lenten Roses are both in full bloom and neither seems to be bothered by the chilly winds. The leaves on one are completely brown this year and will have to be trimmed. By Thursday, is supposed to warm up again. Thank goodness.

Nothing at all is showing on any of my Butterfly Bushes. Both lilacs next to the house are ready to open up. But, as the days pass, I am seeing winter damage to buds on more spring bloomers as they open up. My Weeping Cherry has less than half the flowers that it has had in all years past. That goes along with the Dwarf Forsythia that I mentioned before. The Crab Apple is about to open up and we will see how many flowers it has this year.

connietn, I'd bet the voles are to blame for the missing lilies. We were way into the minus teens this year and I have Asiatics starting to show growth. And many were not covered very deep with dirt, pushing more up out of the ground. Looks like they need dividing this year.

I picked up another heather just like the one I had that died, at Lowe's on the sale rack for $5 yesterday - the dead one also came from Lowe's last year at full price $15, which I will be returning. For $5, I'll give it another try. I'm hoping last winter was just a one time thing and we will return to our milder winters again!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:29PM
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It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who lost precious plants. My St. John's wort seems dead. Of the two loropetalums, one is dead and the other can't decide whether to live or die. The jury is still out on the hydrangeas. Saddest of all is my lovely fig tree, which has produced pounds of delicious figs every year. The arborist is coming to prune the dead branches in the hope that the tree will then be able to recover.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:24PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Hhhmmm. Yeah, Erica X darleyensis are barely zn 6 hardy in some cases so if you didn't have snow cover, I can imagine you losing one. OTOH mine had snow cover but was fine for multiple dips to 3F and soil that was still deeply frozen.

I garden near the upper Ches. Bay and my low until now had only been 7F, since 2005 I've averaged to zn 8 but am close to the 7a/7b border according to the new map.

The plants I'm generally losing: plants native to areas with dry and/or sunny snow-free winters. The problem this year (w/regard to perennials) was yes I always had snow cover for the worst freezes. But the soil was moist going into winter, and it froze all the way down for several inches I'm sure. (It you combine the stats for Jan, Feb & March in Baltimore the picture emerges is of it being one of the worst extended cold spells in a long time. Technically "just" the worst winter since 1994 in terms of absolute lows, but might have been the worst prolonged cold spell w/in a winter since the late 70s. This complements the data showing the great lakes had their biggest freeze since at least the late 70s too)

So...things that are dead:
Rosemary 'Madeline Hill' aka 'Hill Hardy' (never any damage before). One planted near the foundation made it...I was planning ahead because I knew a winter like this was a possibility. Plant was about 3'X6'X4' and had a 4" thick trunk.
standard "Dusty Millers" had always been perennials here
several rare south South African plants that had been fine before, like Kniphofia typhoides (one definitely dead because I dug it to check; others could be ok I suppose) Also see that Zantedeschia aethiopica is dead.
some zn 6 rated Yuccas like Y. rostrata, they were small. I think if they'd been above the snow they would have had a better chance. The crown died because it was wet, not cold.
Othonna cheirifolia (never damaged before)
Pampas Grass (? hard to be sure yet)
Euphorbia characias self seeds in my garden and rarely shows even a bit of damage. This year, many seedlings were outright killed. The mother plant which I believe was the house strain at Joy Creek actually survived but was very injured. One had almost no damage and I will be propagating that as the future clone for the garden.
Glaucium (too bad, had started blooming and I really like the look of these)
Penstemon sp. from Mexico once offered by Plant World Seeds Devon, forget the name they gave it. Had had it since around 2001.

Surprise things that did make it: several rare Rhodophiala bulbs from the Chilean Andes. Difference with South African rare forbs being that these plants are used to heavy snow cover and cold, wet freezing in winter, even though they are still probably from areas rated zn 8. OTOH, I am sure they would not have made it w/o snow cover.
the standard Rhodophiala bifida was hardy too
Lavandula stoechas 'Anouk' (but very damaged)
Nerines (were hardiness selected N bowdeniis)
Crinums (were hardier sorts as well)
Agapanthus 'Balmoral'
Alstroemeria 'Red Sensation' (both from Edelweiss Perennials, who I wholeheartedly recommend)
Arum pictum (main bulb dead, small offset survived)
Arum 'Belldene' - completely uninjured - sprung right back up after the snow melted.
Lycoris radiata
Crocosmia 'Distant Planet' (reassuring because I lost a big clump of 'Jenny Bloom' in 1994)

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 14:45

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

Too soon to tell here. We moved last July, so nothing in my little garden was "established." So far about 2/3 of my plants are showing signs of life. Might have lost all of the zone 5+ plants.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 5:16PM
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babera(5a (Montana))

So far the only things I have lost are 2 large 4 year old lavender and a young lavender from last year. also 1 garden phlox and a clematis. . . the clematis was completely heaved out of the soil. My lawn looks horrible from ice melt, still not sure what to do about that. . . re-seed for sure but I'm nervous the salt may still be in the soil??? One of my boxwoods took a hit from the ice melt as well. . . hmmmm label said it wouldn't harm trees and shrubs. . . ??????

I am actually quite pleased with all the ones that survived. Everything is up and preparing for summer.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:46PM
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Hello from Plymouth MA
Yes a bad winter here--we are near the water but that bitter cold and wind just about did me in--yet Most trees
look ok Rose of Sharon, lilac bush cut down last yr is growing--guess I am lucky but for one Rose bush not doing a thing- still hoping when it get warmer ??? Tulips are up Clematis OK Azalea look sick - hydrangeas just can't kill it
as much as I hack away at it- I DO HAVE A QUESTION ?
Did anyone mulch / straw etc. We did & it may have helped.
Most have full sun all day (WHEN WE HAVE SUN haha)
Been rainy raw and cold -Better days are coming
KEEP THE FAITH !!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:58AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

My roses are already leafed out here in Massachusetts, but they seem to be pretty hardy roses I guess.

I lost an Itea 'Henry's Garnet, believe it or not. That surprised me.

The Camellia 'April Blush' was yanked, which didn't surprise me. It was an experiment and was a zone 6 plant, but, it was small and buried under snow all winter.

Lost a 'Rose Hill' Salvia which was moved in the Fall. Still too early to say if my Salvia 'Maraschino' is coming back because it always leafs out late.

Weigela 'Midnight Wine' is normally late to leaf out, and I have two. One has some basal growth on it only and nothing on the other yet.

Three of my Dicentras that I was worried about showed up but there are probably five more that haven't and they are in an area that gets a lot more wind then the rest of the yard.

Finally seeing some growth on Lilies that I moved in the Fall.

I have four butterfly bushes, two have minimal growth at the base and the other two have absolutely nothing. I will replace them. Two of them were just planted in the fall, one made it the other didn't.

The Asparagus is finally coming up! Very happy about that because it takes so much time to produce if you have to start over.

And none of the horrible weeds that I fight every year were lost!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:30AM
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So far I haven't noticed any losses. We are a few weeks behind due to such a cold spring, but I'm hopeful that the three month continual snow cover acted as a good insulator for my plants. I don't remember any previous winters that snow blanketed the beds all winter long. We broke records for cold, too, but the snow evened things out. Like others have said, though, I might be singing a different tune in a month.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

It is still much too early to make any final pronouncements here. We have not had enough heat or rain to encourage many things to start growing yet. That said, I *suspect* I might have lost the following, though the jury is still out:

Echinacea 'Milkshake' x1
Agastache 'Blue Blazes' x4
Agastache 'Blue Fortune' x2
Crambe maritima x1
Geum 'Totally Tangerine' x2

Of all of these, I am most surprised by the Crambe but I think it was somewhat exposed at the edge of a raised bed where the thick, fleshy roots froze solid and turned into pure, rotten mush upon thawing this spring. The geum was also similarly exposed, but 4 other clumps in an almost identical location are perfectly healthy.

I might have lost 1-2 Geranium 'Rozanne' (out of many) but these tend to be late risers and every day I am finding a new clump or two emerging from the earth!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:23AM
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I'm trying not to think about my butterfly bush.... since hearing a friend say she was worried about hers since they can sometimes be "half-hardy" here, I am now skeptical. I have posted a few times... in different boards... about this. I'm just going to pretend its not an issue until, like, June. Only then, if its a no-show, will I declare it dead. Having said that... I think I'll go check it one last time today ha ha!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:37PM
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I just posted a question at another post. I may have lost 2 Heliopsis 'Tuscan Sun'. Not sure why as we had excellent snow coverage. All my hostas on the north side of the house have not fully out yet (but I know they are there).

I am also very said about my favorite Dianthus "Fire Witch". Below is a picture from last year. So pretty and reliable for the last 5 years, rapidly expanding. But now half the plant is dead. I may dig it up and cut out the dead portions and replant. Although this is one plant I would not recommend dividing.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:49PM
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I lost purple-top verbena, Echinacea, Shasta daisy 'Knight' and no sign of the 3 Milkweed tuberosa plants.

I am very glad the Monarda is up! I have never been successful in WS'ing the seeds for this plant.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:33AM
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I'm still waiting for my butterfly bush, Weigela, and Rose of Sharon to show any signs of life, but they are normally a bit slow to leaf out anyway so way too early to give up on them.

My Knockout roses are in bad shape, but 5 are showing greening at the base. The 6th hasn't yet, but I'm not giving up on it yet.

One of my Rozanne Cranebills is emerging now but the other hasn't shown any life yet.

My Cat Album Rhodo looks awful. Can't tell if it is dead. It wasn't looking very healthy last year either after I planted it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:06AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

A LOT of heucheras. I guess this should mean I stop buying so many. Or....any. Some were HUGE and vigorous last year: now just dried up twigs. Those that did survive have lost most of their leaves, and I normally have most retaining their leaves. Even the Palace Purple looks awful.

It looks like I will have to find colored foliage plants that are tougher. I really liked the purples and golds, though.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, I waited to see what would happen for some of my plants, and I am very happy to see new growth on all the butterfly bushes. If they survived that winter, then I guess
I don't have to be concerned in the future.

Pink Delight and Black Knight were just added last Fall. Black Knight looked as dead as a doornail, then yesterday I noticed a tiny bit of new growth.

Wegeila 'Midnight Wine' is coming back, but lost a lot of top growth.

All my Hydrangeas are back, yay! All coming back from the base, but most of them bloom on new and old wood, so maybe I will get some bloom this year.

Salvia 'Marachino' still not showing anything.

And I just noticed that out of a trio of Hamelins, only one is showing new growth so far.

Very happy with the resilience of my garden plants.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:36AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I'm surprised as heck at how little I lost.

1 Caryopteris - but it was in sad shape last year, so I'm happy it's finally a goner.

3 mums - Reflecting on these, it was probably my own fault since they were planted in less than ideal locations. I've become convinced getting mums to survive winter is all location, location, location.

Looks like our plentiful snowcover made all the difference.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:04PM
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I would think that by now, if something was alive, I would see some small evidence of it. Of the things I've been concerned about, there as some pleasant surprises.

Two echinaceas that were placed in the veggie garden and covered with leaves made it through the winter - Pink Double Delight - 2nd try with this one, and Green Envy are both coming back with lots of healthy leaves. I also have a few volunteer hosta seedlings that have returned. These were very tiny last year but they're here again. A Gallery Red Lupine has returned, along with a volunteer seedling from last year.

We had put some small pieces of Standard Dwarf Irises in in the fall and I think all have made it and are showing new growth.

Purchased last year from Bluestone Perennials, a clematis that I swore was a goner is up and starting up the strings we have for it to climb.

My Orkney Cherry Hardy Geranium is still dead - I'm replacing with another variety, I think, since this variety is only sold in a couple of mail order companies.

I still don't see any bottom growth on two Butterfly Bushes - Pink Delight and Dubbonet. Both have been here for a number of years, so I do expect them to start growing soon. My Royal Red and Black Knight have some green bottom growth - not much though.

And it looks like I lost something that I cannot replace - a tiny white button mum that I brought from my parent's house in 2011 when I sold their house after my Dad died. I loved this little mum and it was part of their landscaping for over 20 years. I have no idea why it died but there is nothing showing where it has been growing for 3 years. I checked on line and no one seems to sell anything that looks like it. Any ideas where I can find one?


    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 5:08PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kevin, which mums did you lose? The Mammoth Mums, or others? My mums have all come back and I have them in two different locations, one with about 6hrs of sun and one in all day sun. One location is right along the street and the plow piled up snow on them all winter and they’re back too. Some of mine I bought at Bluestone Perennials and some I bought locally for containers in the Fall and then just planted them to see how they would do.

Linda, that’s too bad about the Mum from your parent’s home. I wouldn’t dig it up until I was sure nothing was coming back. The only place I know to look for Mums, is Bluestone Perennials. They have a pretty good selection and I’ve found them to be hardy. I know that’s not the only place, but the only one I’ve used.

And yes, most things that are gong to come up will be showing by now, but there are a few that are even later than this to show up. My Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ is always really late to show any growth.

I always sink any pots still hanging around into the vegetable beds with a thick layer of chopped leaves and they’ve always done very well. I have three boxwood and ilex cuttings that made it there over the winter this year.

All of our Clematis came back which I’m very happy about.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 5:52PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

prairiemoon - Yep, lost my Mammoth Red and a couple other non-mammoths. From what I've read, mums have to have perfect drainage for winter survival. I suspect the ones I lost were in areas with less-than-perfect drainage. In fact, one I lost was right next to 2 others that survived. Then I noticed, the one that died probably got a lot of extra water melting off the roof.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Kevin, Which Caryopteris did you lose? I have some volunteers from my Longwood Blue that I could share. My LB has been very reliable here. Up to this year, it has gotten bigger than I expected because it has not died back very much. I think that this year I will be trimming it back to green growth and that will require quite a hair cut! But I do see some green growth on the limbs.

The mum I lost is in an area that stays quite damp over the winter and is a northern exposure. That being said, the previous winters did not seem to bother it, even though it was equally damp in that area. That area is the last to have snow melt and to dry up a little in the spring. All of my other mums are up and growing-different areas. If I had had any idea that my "dad's" little white button mum was not going to last here as it did at his house, I would have divided some pieces off and planted them elsewhere around the house. Darn.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:38PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls


The one I lost was Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘White Surprise’. I really liked it because of the variegated foliage, but I still have another variegated one that seems to be coming back. Thanks for the offer, but I'm going to take a break from these for a while. Maybe in the future I'll try some more again.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

Zone 6b
1-- lost all of my lavender that I have had for 10 years.
2-- the worst has been to the pampas grass. The only variety that survived fine is the zebra type. All the rest just have some of the margins coming back in slightly.. but it's spotty. Going to be a pain to hack them out and replace them

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:01PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kevin, that's too bad you lost a Mammoth Mum. You were so excited about those last fall. Do you have any that made it through?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:31PM
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I have yet to see any signs of life from my Caryopteris "Blue Myth" planting (2013 was their first year from seed).

On the other hand, survival of my unmulched Echinaceas (also first-year plants from seed involving several different varieties) seems to be near 100%, so I now have 70 Echinacea plants, which may be excessive but so what.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:33PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

prairiemoon - That was the only Mammoth I had. All my other mums (about a dozen) except for a couple made it through just fine. In fact, I've been dividing them the last couple days they grew so large.

I can still order another Mammoth or 2, so it isn't a terrible loss. I'll just be more careful where I plant it.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 3:37PM
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I nearly yanked out the St. John's wort last week. Now I'm so glad I didn't as there are some green shoots coming up from the bottom. Ditto all but one hydrangea. So glad I waited, and will continue to wait a couple more weeks as things have begun showing signs of life :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Yep, lost my Mammoth Red and a couple other non-mammoths.

Kevin, did all of your "Rika Bronsther" Mums survive e.g. "Harmony" and "Bolero"?

Do you know yet if you will be adding anymore mums this season? If so which ones?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:29AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

rouge - Yes, both of those survived. Harmony did better and is actually quite large this year. I could probably divide it. Only a small portion of Bolero survived, but I have a feeling it was because I planted it too close to a stone retaining wall.

I never did get out of my winter funk and only placed 1 order for some delphiniums. I have a feeling that's going to be it for this season. This blasted cold just never seems to end. 47 degrees F right now. Depressing.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Thought I'd mention that mums are on sale through today at Bluestone Perennials - 30% off - since so many of us lost some over the winter. I think they have a pretty nice selection to choose from.

I placed an order there this week and am replacing the dead Orkney Cherry Cranesbill with Ballerina and bought another "button" mum to replace my dead white one. I ordered Gilbert Becker. And of course I bought a few other things too - GRIN!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:54PM
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There are a few empty spots in my garden beds but since I can't be certain the plants weren't yanked out in error by hired helpers, can't say for certain that winter did them in. Butterfly bushes are slowly beginning to show new green growth at their bases, Caryopteris has started leafing out, clematis are shooting up with more vigor than in prior years, Russian sage has new growth, trollius/globeflower, peony & columbine have buds on them.

All in all I'd have to confess to losing fewer plants than I might over an open winter (i.e., without snow cover) and be thankful the losses weren't more severe. I winter sowed and have sprouts of quite a few perennials I can use to fill in the empty spots so the cost of replacements won't break the bank.

Gaillardia and rudbeckia are total losses but not surprising given the rudbeckia is considered an annual according to Swallowtail Garden Seeds' website. They do list Gaillardia as a perennial hardy to Z5 but this winter might have been cold enough to finish them off even though I grew them from seed via winter sowing. They're easily grown from seed and can be replaced but it bugs me they didn't survive.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:42PM
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They do list Gaillardia as a perennial hardy to Z5 but this winter might have been cold enough to finish them off

I have a particular border consisting of about 8 "Arizona Apricot" Gaillardia and each season about half the plants don't make it through the winter. I go ahead and replace the lost ones with nursery grown AA,. (I probably should replace all of them each year as the survivors take too long to reach maturity for flowering).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:30PM
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I was surprised to have apparently lost 3 Oenothera "Lemon Drop" (albeit they had been in the garden only since last summer).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:43PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

I keep remembering different things that should have been here by now.. very shocked at the list, this past winter must have really done a number.

I've lost all my russian sages, I had 2 well established plants and 2 new ones, all gone this year. Also a very hardy coreopsis is gone, not the needle leaf type, the other. A miniature golden spirea that looked gorgeous and bright every year is just a twig now. My lavenders have gone (again. time to treat them like annuals). A lovely coral bells plant, the type you grow for the flowers, not the leaves... 2 butterfly bushes, and a May Night salvia that I transplanted last year to a sunnier place.

The year before was the year I lost nice big shrubs, because of the drought. One was a tri colored willow, hakura nishiki, and the other was a mottled white sambucus.

I have two massive willow trees at the back of my yard, and in November with the storms we had, huge branches, themselves bigger than many trees, broke off leaving a big gap.

Oh well, best not to keep thinking about them I suppose. It's just money. And hard work, and so much affection, lol.

On the upside, it's been wonderfully dry and cool in the Niagara area this week, perfect gardening weather, no mosquitos yet, no humidity yet, and tons of new growth.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 12:57PM
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I did lose 2 lavenders (actually they were half alive but I didn't have the patience to waiting for them to to short for lavender in zone 4). I lost 3 "Ozark Sundrop".

But other than that our perennials did just fine. In fact I see clearly arising from the soil the sometimes sensitive "Spigelia marilandica". I have 2 of these plants and no problem with either making it through the winter.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 1:08PM
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I just got back from a two-week trip and found that some plants I'd given up as victims of last winter were showing new growth.

Most surprisingly, a small dwarf palmetto that I only planted out last spring is sending up new leaves despite our subzero (including -19F) lows (such plants are typically rated hardy to zone 7a at best). Also coming back are perennial four o'clock (Mirabilis longiflora), Mexican tarragon (Tagetes lucida) and Salvia guaranitica. And a young hybrid Vitex agnus-castus that looked to be a goner is sprouting basal growth.

I'md glad I didn't give up on them prematurely. Now I'll have to allow the Amorphophallus konjac at least another month to see if it survived.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:41AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I was very lucky, or it may be the plants I choose. My garden is along a busy road, so my plants were covered in a 3-5 ft layer of plowed snow and ice. They are also mostly natives, so have been surviving winters like these for centuries. Interestingly, I did lose two lavenders, but the exact same plants across the driveway did beautifully.

Amazingly, I grew some gladiolus two years ago, while I waited for the perennials to fill in, and I still have stalks of those returning, despite having pulled them out. They must multiply rapidly if in the right location. I guess I'll leave them where they are, as long as they aren't becoming invasive.

So sorry to hear of everyone's losses. We do invest so much of ourselves in our gardens--both financially and emotionally, as well as the immeasurable sweat equity. Hopefully, the replacement process will be a small consolation.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Campanula UK Z8

unfortunately, I lost none of mine (I always rely on natural culling because I am a cheapskate) which means the garden is a horribly overstuffed, formless mess (have never really got the hang of leaving spaces). Have promised to get the spade out when I feel less demoralised.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:27AM
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I lost a couple of plants:
Paeonia 'Leda' (tree peony) has only one green shoot.
Camellia 'April Kiss'
But my biggest loss is an Acer palmatum that is over 20 years old. Only 1/3 of it leafed out this spring.
Also my Albizia jilibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' has tremendous die back

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:27PM
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One other plant I'd long ago given up on (a five-year old Musa basjoo (hardy banana) still hadn't shown growth by the end of May (nearly a month after it typically resprouts in the spring), so I planted a Colocasia 'Thai Giant' in its place. Yesterday I noticed two banana shoots have emerged from the mulch around the Colocasia.
And all of the year-old crepe myrtles grown from seed harvested from a central Virginia source are sending up vigorous new growth.

Hot tropical times are returning to the garden...

On the downside, I also had marked dieback on a supposedly hardier cultivar of Albizzia julibrissin (though it was just a two-year-old sapling). Hopefully it'll make enough growth this season to endure future winters without serious problems.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:42PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

It was an exceptionally wet winter, so I'm blaming most of the loss on that. Maybe a few nights with lack of snow cover contributed...

Lysimachia atropurpurea- wasn't expecting it to come back

Geranium 'Purple Pillow' (SO sensitive to moisture!)

Anemone 'Pamina'- planted in fall, maybe not enough time for him to establish

Geum 'Fireball'- slowly dwindling over the years...could be the chiloense in it showing its distain for wetness.

Geranium 'Orkeney Cherry'

Delosperma 'Fire Spinner' ...never got planted from 4"

Not sure many of my seed-raised Cyclamen made it

Geranium 'Southcoumb Double' (pleased about it's demise)

Geum 'Coppertone' - absolute wimp of a plant...

Asarum splendens - I weep for this one

Oregano 'Amethyst Falls' & 'Kent Beauty' (KB in the front made it- this location is warmer and sandier)

Persicaria 'Red Dragon'

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' :-( loved the variegation!

Corydalis 'Chocolate Stars'- the start I left out front is still living. It is extremely sandy here and a zone higher micro-climate...the large clump I moved out back rotted away.

Tricyrtis 'Miyazaki'...'Moonlight Treasure' hanging on by a thread

A Dryopteris (forget species, too lazy to look up, LOL)

This winter was the nail in the coffin for Hakonechloa 'Fubuki'. It was very weak anyway.

Jury is still out on the Leptodermis....and 'Ocean's Fury' fern (thought I saw a sprig)

I was surprised a few plants made it thru, like my Red Birds in a Tree, Echium 'Red Feathers', Digitalis 'Goldcrest', Arisaema siskoniamum...

Ps. didn't realize I lost so much until I wrote this post!!!!

This post was edited by christinmk on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 23:40

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:28PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

In addition to the plants I posted about above back in April, I am pretty sure the following will not be coming back:

Eupatorium 'Chocolate' (although I am finding a million seedlings)
Helleborus 'Mrs Betty Ranicar'--not sure what happened to this one
Hellebore seedlings x5
Pycnanthemum incanum
Pycnanthemum muticum--about half of my clumps... :-(
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'--half my clumps look extremely vigorous while the other half have dwindled into a few spindly shoots.
Clematis 'Alionushka' x1--not sure what happened since all of my other clematis including 2 more 'Alionushka' are thriving

I thought I had lost some Agastache 'Blue Fortune', but they have all returned vigorously.

The plants that survived the BEST and are now thriving in the cool spring are hardy geraniums, chrysanthemums, hardy ranunculus (ficaria cultivars, acris 'Flore Pleno' and aconitifolius 'Flore Pleno'), roses, daylilies, asters, clematis, Campanula 'Sarastro', Eupatorium 'Little Red', Silphium 'Holy Grail', Aconitum 'Barker's Variety', thalictrums, ferns and martagon lilies.

The hardy geraniums take the prize overall for survivability and vigor this year. I can't get enough of these wonderful plants!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:33AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Ispahan - My Sarastro is absolutely HUGE this year too. I swear that thing grew more than 5 times its size from last year. And we have also had a very cool, wet spring. I'm happy to see it isn't a runner just a very good clumper.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:57AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I am really surprised at how little I lost this year too. And some plants have been better than usual. I actually jumped the gun on an Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’ that was only a couple of year’s old and small. I pulled it out and tossed it, and now I wonder if it would have made it if I had waited.

I also lost a Salvia, ‘Rose Hill’ that I had transplanted in the fall, so I assume that was the reason.

Like Carly, I had a Camellia that was part of the ‘April’ series that I was experimenting with and that definitely didn’t make it through. Sorry about your Acer palmatum, Carly, that had to hurt!

That’s about all I can think of.

I really don’t push my zone at all and sometimes if I remember to, I look for plants that are hardy to a zone colder than mine. Of course, that’s still not going to do me much good in a winter with little snow cover, I suppose.

Eric, congratulations on the emerging banana shoots! That had to be exciting when you spotted those. lol And Crepe myrtles too…nice! That's one plant I'd love to grow, but I just don't have a place for it.

Christin, so sorry to see such a long list of plants that you lost. I looked up that Asarum and really nice plant. :-( As are all the rest of them. I am really surprised about the Corydalis, I thought that was indestructible. I wonder if you will find seedlings. You have had a lot of very special plants. You must have had a crazy winter. I think here in the East the snow cover and the fact that we pretty much stayed frozen all winter this year, must have saved us. The only silver lining I can think of, is that whatever is left that made it through the winter are pretty dependable for you and if you have some favorites, maybe increasing the amount of those will work out well for you.

Ispahan, the Hellebore surprises me. And not surprised about the Agastache. I have the Honey Bee Blue and the plants are more vigorous this year and I am finding a ton of seedlings too. You have hardy Ranunculus? I’m going to have to look those up. My daughter was purchasing bunches for flower arrangements in the spring and I wondered why I hadn’t grown those before. Which varieties of Geraniums do you have?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Kevin, I think Campanula 'Sarastro' is definitely *very very very good* clumper. One 3.5 inch pot planted last June has expanded into a spectacular clump 3 feet across. The flowers on this plant are gorgeous!

Prairiemoon2, I was also shocked by the hellebores. They were newly planted last spring and this was their first winter in the ground. Maybe they were just not established enough? As for hardy geraniums, I now grow too many types to list, but some of my favorites are Geranium maculatum, G. erianthum, 'Blue Sunrise', 'Blue Cloud', 'Sirak', 'Orion', 'A.T. Johnson', 'Wageningen', 'Elke', 'Tiny Monster', 'Derrick Cook', G. sanguineum 'Album', G. soboliferum 'Butterfly Kisses' and, of course, the amazing rambling 'Rozanne'.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:23PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ispahan, I have lost some of the Hellebore seedlings around the established plant last winter, but if you planted it in the spring, I would think that would have been good enough. A mystery I guess.

I remember either reading an article or seeing on a gardening show years ago, a garden where they specialized in geraniums. It was memorable. I was not really doing perennial gardening at the time, so I didn't take advantage of it, but I still remember how beautiful it was. I only have a couple of Cranesbill, right? I've looked for more locally, but I haven't found any that are very different from what I have I guess. I'll have to look up some of the names you mentioned. Where do you buy yours?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:09PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Butterfly weed and a couple veronicas :( One was first love, one was listed on the tag as "beach speedwell". Probably some others too, but those really stand out. Very likely lost about 20 or so butterfly bushes (we have about 100 so it's not like all is lost, but these are in a hedge row so that's going to look like heck until I can reroot new ones to replace them). THOUGHT I lost Lets Dance Moonlight hydrangea, but when I went to dig it out to replace it with a lovely yellow large leaf rhodie I picked up to replace it with on Saturday (6/6) I found one lonely little leaf cluster. So, found a new home for the rhodie and I'll hope it makes it. Lost a few lavender (either munstead or hidcote). I had one bed get and retain more water than was ideal, this was where the veronica, most of the lost lavender and one of the butterfly weed was. I also lost two beach plums, an arapaho blackberry and a loganberry (wasn't surprised by that one, it's not really a zone 6 plant).

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Hi Prairiemoon, long time no see! is a wonderful source for hardy geraniums. They are raised in small California nursery. the prices are very reasonable ( 7-8 $) for well rooted plants, but the postage will be a lot for us New Englanders. I think I figured they came out to about $10 a plant. They put out good growth in the holding beds and all had good root balls and top growth when they got transplanted to their permanent home.
Lazy S has many.
When I see an unusual one on sale at Mahoney's I snatch it up.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Marie, yes, long time! How is your revamped garden doing this year so far?

Thanks for the suggestion of I had forgotten about them. They sell both the actual pelagorniums and the cranesbill, don't they? I'll have to check them out again. And I keep meaning to check out the Lazy S catalog. It's almost time for summer sales, isn't it?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:07PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

PM2, thanks for the sympathy and condolences ;-) I was surprised about the Corydalis too! 'Chocolate Stars' has been a particularly robust grower for me- didn't see its death coming. Thankfully I kept a start of it out front (warmer/better draining)...don't think this cultivar sets seeds.

It was a pretty normal winter until the last portion...then things got wet without draining. There were a few cold nights without snowcover, but I'm not sure that was enough to cause so much loss.

Lol. Well I suppose you could say that apocalyptic amount of snow you guys got did good...kept your babies snug and protected! ;-D

I'm actually thinking I might add a few more conifers/evergreens and shrubs to the garden. All this carnage will at least open up some room for me.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:00PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I am late getting into my gardens this year and they are late as well.
Missing all my gallardia. Have been trying to get rid of g. 'Burgundy' in one area and now it is gone, but it is also gone from my mailbox bed where it was
a foundation plant. I blame the snow removal guy for pushing snow back from the bed and scalping the ground. No self sown gallardia seedlings coming up either. And no self sown moss roses. Cherry Rudbeckia gone from the same bed

Also gone or very tiny amount showing, mums in the front driveway bed, including several mammoth mums. Sad, sad. Have mammoth Autumn Red and Twilight Pink in the back beds that look good so will move some to the front. Bronze one, white one and Yellow Quill are gone.

Appear to have lost Florida Seiboldi clematis that was overwintering in my garage in a large pot as well as several I gallon potted perennials that were also in the garage. Will dig down tomorrow to see if any clematis roots are still alive. Have already dumped the gallon pots.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

CMK, I remember reading you have drainage issues. We had a little bit of that ‘wet without draining’ in early spring, a couple of times when it rained and the ground was still frozen. I thought I was going to have trouble and I don’t know why I didn’t. I normally have good drainage though, so that must make the difference. I’m sorry you don’t. :-( That must be a particularly aggravating problem. I wonder if you’ve ever considered raised beds?

I had plants very slow to show up this spring, so I was considering that I might have lost them, and at the time, I was thinking maybe I should add more conifers, until I visited the Conifer forum in the spring and they were posting long lists of plants they lost! So, if you are thinking about it, I’d read some of their posts on which ones they lost. :-)

Mnwsgal, sorry to hear of your losses too. I have never had much luck wintering over in the garage. And the snowplow frequently digs into some edge of the front yard. We have a bed that borders the street, but it has a rock edge to it, which I suppose must help. Of course, they don't actually see the rocks under the snow, and once they did plow into those. Wow, what a noise that made! And 12ft of rock edge had to be reset, but I didn't lose any plants. [g] I wish we had sidewalks.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:41AM
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More good news - it took awhile for some of them to show growth, but all 13 of my seed-grown dwarf crepe myrtles have survived into their second season.

So the only significant casualties this spring (aside from maybe the Amorphphallus konjac) are a half-dozen Echinacea that the rabbits gnawed down to the nubs.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:32PM
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It is sure interesting to read about what people lost. This past winter was certainly brutal. Really the only thing that didn't come back for me is my oldest and largest butterfly bush. For years this kept coming back with new growth every spring on the old woody stems and was a really vigorous grower. This year there was a bit of growth at the bottom but I could see it wasn't developing well and now noticed today that the whole main stem is rotting. Time to replace it, but I want to find the biggest one that I can since this one ran about 6-7 feet high when in full bloom.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:55PM
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The exact same thing happened to me, Keith. I had a piece of green growth, a small piece, on the bottom of a 6 year old Royal Red Butterfly Bush. When I didn't see it growing any higher, as the rest of my butterfly bushes did, I checked on it and the greenery was gone. Now, I need to find a replacement as well. An old friend bought the Royal Red for me at a local gardening flea market so I don't know if any of the local gradening centers will have one. I'll no doubt end up with another variety.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 9:05PM
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