Pins and Needles

“Pins and Needles”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Because winter lasted a lot longer than normal, I knew that once warmer temperatures finally settled in, there would be a huge burst of spring in the garden. Sure enough, things are popping up all over, making up for lost time. Last Sunday, we were at my daughter’s house, and her Bradford pear was in full bloom. Our ornamental pear was just about finished blooming, but hers was gorgeous and really stood out against the gray, cloudy sky.



The daffodils finished blooming this week, but the petunias are finally flushing out after being flowerless for months. We haven’t had any real rainfall lately, so I have had to water a bit. While doing that chore this afternoon, I notice many plants are starting to return after such a cold winter. The gingers, cannas, and hostas are starting to show growth. Several plants have surprised me by coming back after such a cold winter. I still can’t believe the variegated shrimp plant that was out in the garden with hardly any mulch is putting out new leaves. I though surely it was a gone for good. The day-blooming jasmine is putting our new growth on its stems which did surprise me since the night-blooming variety always dies back to the ground. I thought surely that one would die back completely, too.

Another plant I thought was dead was the “Red Sensation” cordyline I had planted in a large container. When I bought it, I was told it was hardy in our area, but this winter it died. Or seemed to and I was so disappointed. Today, however, I noticed a sprout coming from the base. Yea! It’s alive!

There are several favorite plants I am still holding my breath on. Only one of my Chinese hibiscus is sporting a leaf. The others – nothing. I have scratched the bark and have seen green, so I am still hopeful, but I am concerned because the stems look so bad. I think the oyster plants I put in last summer are not going to come back, but I won’t give up all hope until May. There are always a few plants that take a long time to come back. The Mickey Mouse elephant ear is also a worry. My sister, who lives in a warmer area than I do, feels she has lost hers, and I can’t believe that mine would survive if hers didn’t. None of the other elephant ears are up, so I won’t know for a few weeks if mine is definitely dead or not.

This waiting to find out what did or didn’t survive our extra cold winter certainly has me on pins and needles. It is hard to be patient when you are unsure if you will have to replace plants or not.


  1. March 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Bee Balm seems to have done well in my garden and it’s the only thing truly making headway right now…oh our Bradfords are blooming–the bulbs-and azaleas will be soon.

    Good to see you today!

  2. Randy said,

    March 26, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Your garden will be filled with blooms in no time. Looking forward to all your wonderful pictures!

  3. Nell Jean said,

    March 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    It is an exciting time in the garden, checking under every dead-stemmed plant to see if bits of green are yet visible. The salvias have rewarded me. I’m still waiting for porterweed and pentas to show up or not, among others. Every little sprout is a thrill.

  4. garden mary said,

    March 27, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I, took am looking for things to come back after a hard winter. I keep hoping Old Man Winter was kind to my garden.

  5. Deborah said,

    March 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Lucky you! I’m still holding my breath over here. Some things have started to come back, but there are so many that haven’t shown a sign yet. The ground was crunchy-cold last winter. Normally the ground doesn’t freeze here.

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