Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Minute Garden Chores in the Near-Dark

~ gunnera ~
 Yesterday was a wonderful West Coast day - full of sunshine & unexpected warm temperatures. It was pure torture having to work inside all day!!

I'm lucky that I was home shortly after 4:00 so I could run outside & play for a very short time. My main goal was to cut back my gunnera. Sunshine in the winter on the Coast = frost the next morning!

So, this is one of my older gunnera - about 3 years old now & finally starting to take to it's place in the front yard. I don't have anything to show the size of the leaves, but they are almost 5 feet across - well, the biggest ones are. The stems are thicker than my wrist & I really should dig out my machete for when I need to cut these down - the pruners are really difficult to use!

~ gunnera ready for winter ~

This is how my gunnera will survive the winter on the Coast. It is important to cut back the stems & leaves & cover up the main body of the plant as it is a 'tropical' plant & will be damaged by frost & freezing.

Most of the plant lives above ground (you'll know if you ever have to transplant & move one), so ensuring winter protection that still allows for drainage is key to having them last for years.

So, that was me running out right at dusk last night to cut them back and I have about 7 of these on the property.

~ gunnera in the frosty morning ~
This is the protected gunnera about 10 minutes ago in the frosty morning just before the sun peaks over the horizon.
~ frosty gunnera ~
I love the frosty mornings around here - they are pretty to see & they disappear so quickly in the morning sunshine!

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