Old Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia species)
Now that it's gotten nice and cold, it's time to start tree trimming down here. This old crape myrtle is in need of some rejuvenation, having survived a major landscape makeover and who knows what else before we moved in five years ago. I do know for a fact that someone tried to commit "crape murder" on it some time ago. That is evidenced by the big old knots the tree has on each trunk at about the same height. For those who haven't heard of "crape murder", it's when one tops the trunks. It destroys the natural beauty of the tree trunks and I think it could be a plot by landscape contractors who need more work in the winter! Here you can see the beauty of a stem next to the ugly mess left by years of topping.
Old knot caused by topping
One thing I've noticed in the last few years is a decline in the number of healthy looking bloom ends. Whether it's due to trauma or just old age, I'll never know. But yesterday my muscle (my husband) helped me take some drastic steps in trying to help it out. We took out many big trunks, especially those that were criss-crossing up top.
Hopefully you can see how it's opened up in these before and after shots.
So fingers crossed, the old crape myrtle will bounce back this summer.
We're bracing for a very cold week here, probably the coldest we've had since we moved here. I have my doubts as to whether my Agave desmentiata will survive in its stock tank. Here you can see some of the cold damage it already has (yellow spots).
So today (while it was snowing no less!), I added some pine straw around the agave. Fingers crossed it'll make it past the week!
Agave desmentiata, Bamboo muhly stalks, and Aeonium arboreum v. atropurpureum ‘Zwartzkopf’
And then there's my portable greenhouse. I've never tried heating it before. I've just always hoped the temps wouldn't stay below freezing for long. And for the most part it's worked. But since the predictions are for temperatures to stay below freezing for at least 24 hours and in the mid-teens for several nights in a row, I went ahead and purchased a heater.
Don't try this at home!
This is NOT a heater one should purchase for a greenhouse. But since I couldn't find one specifically made for more wet conditions, I'm taking the risk. It won't have to work for long and I'll be very careful. Fingers crossed it'll work like a charm, the plants will survive, and nothing will burn down!
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.