Some of you maybe thinking my garden is covered in snow. While we did have two lovely snowfalls, neither lasted, as we have had above average temperatures for most of November.
Last week I realized that I hadn't done anything to protect my evergreens from the drying prairie winds.
The cedars in my back garden don't really need extra care as they are protected by the fence from most of the wind. Of course the other problem we face in overwintering cedars is our bright winter sun. Cedars still transpire from their foliage when warmed by the sun but if the roots are frozen solid they have no way to bring moisture back up to the foliage to replace what was lost.
Some one can think that their cedar has made it through the winter only to find it turning brown and dying as spring arrives. Cedar growers from British Columbia who enjoy optimum growth conditions (wet,wet,wet) just love us crazy Albertans for trying, year after year, to grow cedars where cedars were not meant to be!
My back garden is shaded all winter as the sun does not come high enough to shine over the garages. (Ours and our neighbour's)
The front garden, on the other hand is the worst possible place to plant a cedar.
In general, I am all about the right plant for the right place. I only plant hardy roses,trees and shrubs that are well suited for our zone. If I'm going to experiment it's usually with perennials as the cost is much lower, especially when I start them from seed.
However, I was born and raised in B.C.'s Frazer Valley where people plant cedars instead of building fences.
Sometimes I get homesick so. . .
When I was able to buy a topiary cedar from Costco for cheap,(and I mean cheap!) I planted it in a pot and put it on the front porch. I knew it wouldn't survive the winter in a pot so I told myself the back garden had no room and planted it in the front, right where I had always longed for an evergreen.
Wrapping in burlap can be self defeating as the cedar can still heat up if the burlap is touching the foliage, so I tried something different. I sprayed it with an anti desiccant.
It actually worked!
This year I found three little Alberta Spruces languishing in a Canadian Tire garden center. As soon as they saw me they begged me to take them home!
What could I do? They had been marked down from $40 to $10 a piece! Of course, they hate the wind and sun even more than cedars and where did I put them?
In the sunny, windy front garden.
So with 25 minutes before I had to leave for school one afternoon I decided it was time.
First of course I had to find the anti desiccant.
In the garden shed? No.
Then where on earth?. . .
Oh right! I put it in the garden room. Found it.
I used 15 of the 25 minutes to figure out just how much 'Cloud Cover' I needed to mix with the water in my sprayer. (1:10)
I hate ratios! I hate math.
I didn't believe my teachers when they told me I would need it some day.
Who knew they were right?
I ended up using my favorite measuring cup for the job. (It's still out in the greenhouse.)
In the end I got the job done with a minute to spare.
Gardening. It's such a relaxing past time. . .
Ooohhh, look what came in the mail just as I was ready to leave.