Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Some Plants Can Take a Bit of Cold Weather

Crystal Trojek, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario

There’s a crusty little visitor on my doorstep this morning. Coated in ice and dusted in snow, my metal plant stand resides there, filled with now russet Christmas greens, broken branches, plaid ribbon, berries, and artificial pomegranates. At least I know that’s what is under that white stuff. The stand is about to share its remorse on the entryway carpet in a flood of apologetic tears. The stand has numerous possibilities, and is about to receive a smart new spring wardrobe.
Whispered a curse on the thermometer, starting with the words, “Take a look at the calendar, and think about weeping humidic tears in 40 degrees in July. Embrace your tiny red line today, for it will soon be throbbing with heat on your little metal face. Even your sidekick the snow shovel won’t be around to cry with you then.”

Container gardening never ends for me; I just keep switching to the next thing. Whenever possible, use some kind of a liner when fitting up containers. A pot within a pot, or a garbage bag or bubble wrap as the liner of the desperate for those who put plants in anything and dream at another level than most people. One can easily make changes to the contents of the container this way, spark it up with fresh bulbs, or add a few spring blooming perennials. 

This particular container will hold 3 six inch pots of blue hyacinths, 3 four inch pots of scrappy mini daffodils, and you can toss a little bit of soil under them to get the pots at the right height.  A few stalwart pansies tucked around, new branches, twig balls, a blanket of sphagnum moss to cover the less artistic elements of the design and give the nesting birds something to steal. These plants can take colder temperatures, or this stand is small enough to sneak into the foyer when your husband has gone to bed. Last tip: do not hide it in his garage. He will know. 

No more lamenting about the weather. Why wait for planting until May when you can do some now? 

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