Tag Archive | frost

April 4-17, 2022: Weeks 14-15 Garden in Review


We had a frost that got to 30 overnight after I had placed a few annuals outside, but they were easily covered and now after about a week the damage has been pinched out and I’m back in business. Unfortunately I am finding that the previous deep freeze to 22 Fahrenheit took out quite a few Dutch iris this year that had already budded.


April in zone 8 is magic! The spring is short and astounding, and there are a lot of developments to share. Let’s start with the Trial Garden Sale. We live a few miles from a major university trial garden and annually in spring they have one heck of a sale. This year it was very cold overnight and I am not sure if the plants had been left out overnight or just put out when it was too cold, but after bringing home the plants, they began to show damage the next day. A bit of a disappointment, but they seem to be recovering. I picked up the following great plants:

Persian shield , red and yellow abutilons, purple salvia, 2coleus, and a pink sinningia
Better shot of the abutilons.

New Plantings

For the entirety of week 14 I was on break, but because of the cold forecast at the beginning of week 15 that damaged the trial garden plants, I could not plant as scheduled. In week 15, I have been slowly planting my seedlings each morning and now have about half left to plant. I am excited about my seed dahlias this year. I planted 24 Figaro dwarf dahlia in my rear right fence corner. I’ve been building that corner out for years. In 2018 I found a crape myrtle sapling in my front shrubs that I transplanted to that back corner. It’s quite large now and fronted with a red drift rose . The dahlias are in front of this. In the photo, they are still small and in the straw border. In addition to the Figaro, I planted dwarf cactus dahlia in the rear of my stop sign bed behind the miscanthus. This area is what I can see from the house and I though we deserved a bit of color too! I planted 20 Pom Pom seed dahlias behind the raised beds in my cutting garden… because my cutting garden is full already. Hoping they take back there.

Stop sign area. Dahlias added behind the large grass clump.

I filled a lot of my planters and will cover these as they begin to bloom. Currently they are full of green seedlings.

What’s Blooming?

During this period the irises, linaria, sweet William, verbascum, columbine, snapdragons and CA poppies started blooming. Poppies are up but not open yet.


Plant Spotlight in Brief: Linaria

It’s wispy, it’s colorful, it’s a fast grower and not very fussy! It’s Linaria! Linaria is one of my favorite direct sow spring bed fillers. With a lightweight and easily pulled root system this plant is a spring necessity. I scatter it en mass throughout my beds to provide early spring color. Because it’s so easy to pull after it’s spent, it’s easily cleaned up when it gets too not.

Linaria, or spurred snapdragon, makes a long lasting vase filler and is cut and come again while cooler weather prevails. There are many colors and bi-colors in the mix I buy. I buy by the ounce as I really do sprinkle it all around! I can expect white, yellow, purple, pink and mixed colors and just adore the delicate look of these plants. I plant in fall and this plants takes off slowly all winter without a concern for water, freezes etc. If you are a gardener who likes plants that are not fussy, this is your plant. Linaria in my garden grows 18-24 inches tall but starts blooming even shorter if the weather is right. It prefers cooler weather in the south and rarely lives past early June here. This is a perfect starter flower for new gardeners. Check out the photos of this easy spring wonder!

Linaria with ranunculas
Linaria and nasturtium
Linaria border