still more inspiration

Nothing makes a garden look more well-tended than a bunch of plants wrapped in burlap. And, of course, wrapping plants can be elevated to a serious art form, if decent help is available.

There is a valid reason for doing this. The root balls of newly planted shrubs and trees are too small to provide sufficient hydration for the above-ground parts of the plant, prior to the onset of dormancy, and so the burlap helps–a little–in preventing desiccation from wind and sun. Everything has been watered up until a week or so ago and now it’s time to tuck the plants in for their long winter rest. I hope my little green friends know I’m thinking warm thoughts about them when it gets cold. I might even add some frost cloth if serious cold is predicted.

For some reason, I imagine my wrapping work to look as elegant as it does in other gardens, as at Great Dixter (the last picture, showing plants wrapped for the winter), but it always turns out like this instead.

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This has to be fixed, of course. Squirrels have been tugging at the burlap trying to get strands for their nests.

I did the next one just this afternoon. A few Arizona cypresses were being thrown away by a nursery because they hadn’t grown well, and I’m trying to save them. The rootballs on these are very small. I leave the top open so the plants can take advantage of any snow that might melt on their leaves. (There are any number of websites that claim that conifers don’t absorb water through their needles. They are mistaken.) But the main point is making sure the cypresses have been sufficiently watered before they become dormant. How do you tell when they are? I don’t know, but you can certainly tell when they aren’t. So I give them plenty of water, when I remember to, up until about the first of December. (Cypresses don’t form resting buds for the winter, they just stop growing.)

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I bent down to pick up a piece of twine and noticed this.

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Looking around some more, I saw this. I don’t freak out about this like some people do; it’s nice to see flowers any time, even if snow wrecks them later. The main snowdrop display usually occurs in late January or early February here. (It’s strange to think how soon that can be.)

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Also took a picture of one of the rock gardens, because I felt like it. Rabbits don’t touch acantholimons; maybe I should grow more.

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