We're approaching our last frost date, but we aren't there yet. Loved the weather report by Rob Carlmark of 12News posting this morning about the chance of rain today and cold night ahead: "If you have any plants left...you might want them covered Monday night." Looking around after the Great Freeze of 2013, some plants made it and more didn't. Hopefully, many will come back, but wait until you see fresh new growth before you begin pruning. The frost bitten branches will protect the new growth from any late freezes. Easy to say, much harder to do when your yard is draped in dead leaves and crispy brown branches.
While visiting the Desert Botanical Garden last week, I talked to Starr Urbatsch, Senior Horticulturist, while walking through the Center for Desert Living. Starr said the length of the cold spell in January caught everyone by surprise and there was only so much anyone could do to save frost-sensitive plants. Even hardy natives took a hit. Frost cloth helped, but it needed to envelope bushes totally to the ground to be most effective. We all had to be selective about what to save and won't know until late March or April how the plants will rebound. "It was definitely a learning experience."
A few verbenas are in bloom here and there.
Rosemary survived the freeze well and butterflies and other polinators love it.
Starr identified this as Teucrium, a new cultivar from Mountain State Nursery. She said there are several varieties available, but this is the one still in bloom after the hard freeze.
Baja Fairy Duster is frost-bitten, but still has a few flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Pockets of Calendulas, Europs Bush Daisies and even a few Tropical Milkweed or Bloodflower may have survived and are in bloom here and there as well.