Akebia trifoliata. This year all my Akebias have flower buds, so maybe I will get fruit for the first time. They need a partner for pollination that isn’t the same clone.

My small Amelanchier (I think it’s Amelanchier lamarckii) will flower for the first time. I’m excited!

Ceanothus gloriosus x masonii ‚Blue Jeans‘ with flower buds.

Chiliotrichum diffusum ‚Siska‘ is regenerating fine after the winter.

The scent of the foliage of Ribes malvaceum is stronger when it’s raining. It smells so good!

The emerging foliage of Staphylea pinnata looks interesting.

March Update

The weather has been really nice this last couple of weeks, with lots of sun and enough rain. We also didn’t have much frost since February. The plants are developing accordingly really fast.

Abeliophyllum distichum is flowering, finally, with a lovely scent. The normal Forsythia , which it is closely related to, is just a week behind, so I think the Abeliophyllum may be a bit late.

Comparing the two Aristotelia species I have in my garden, one difference is showing particularly well in winter: A. chilensis has strikingly reddish stems, almost like a Cornus sanguinea. The branches of A. serrata on the other hand, go from red into a deep black. Both are doing fine, even though they lost their leaves (like last year).

Brachyglottis greyi ‚Sunshine‘ came through the harsh winter pretty much unscathed.

The bright yellow flowers of Cornus mas ‚Kazanlak‘ will soon turn into tasty fruit. This cultivar has bigger, pear-shaped fruit.

I don’t know how this Eucalyptus gunnii will handle my winters. It probably won’t look like this after our winter cold, because I planted this one only recently.

Iris reticulata ‚Harmony‚ is already done with its show for this year. But luckily I was able to capture its short-lived beauty.

Ribes sanguineum looks quite similar to R. malvaceum, but the latter seems to be blooming a bit earlier. Another difference is the smell of its leaves. R. malvaceum smells intoxicating.

February Blooms

Some flowers like Abeliophyllum distichum are just about to open but not quite ready. Here are those that are:

Hamamelis doing its thing. Sadly this cultivar has no fragrance…

Flowering maybe a bit far stretched with this Bergenia.

Corylus avellana ‚Webbs Preisnuss‘ making people with allergies miserable.

This bumblebee on the other hand doesn’t mind the pollen from the Helleborus.

Neither does this early bee. Hellebores grow as a weed here,

Speaking of weeds, Veronica persica flowers almost year-round.

This yellow-leafed form of Valerianella locusta looks almost like a flower.

Is it Spring yet?

The snow and the cold have long gone. Temperatures are back in the normal range for winter here in the lower parts of Switzerland.

The snowdrops are flowering.

Ribes malvaceum carries some heavy buds. This Californian species is supposed to flower in winter; obviously not in my region. The leaves smell incredible, musky and truly exotic.

The dead leaves of Quillaja saponaria look too good. The plant is still living, some leaves lower to the ground are still green, but I don’t have much hope for long-time survival. At the time it was more of an impulse buy.

Pseudocydonia sinensis has surprisingly kept its foliage.

Luma apiculata on the other hand… But it will leaf out again.

This little Lomatia ferruginea looks fine.

Hakea microcarpa is supposed to be one of the hardiest Proteaceae.

This Proteacea, Grevillea alpina ‚Canberra Gem‘, looks equally unbothered. Maybe they will show damage in spring.

The last Proteaceae for this post: A couple of seedlings of Embothrium coccineum.

I was tesing three Dianella species (seed-grown) for hardiness. As expected only Dianella tasmanica survived satisfactorily.

Cotula lineariloba is a star in my garden. Looks perfect year-round.

All Callistemons seem to have some die-back, but are otherwise okay. Here is Callistemon sieberi ‚Widdicombe Gem‘.

Azara petiolaris doesn’t look great. Last year with -9°C it came through unharmed. And of course all flower buds are busted.


My tiny Araucaria does fine.

Agarista populifolia is my favorite evergreen at the moment.

Record Cold!

This January will be the coldest January since 30 years! We had around 14 days with an average temperature below 0° Celsius in a row, though the minimal temperatures never dropped lower than what we had at the start of the month (-11°C). Nevertheless, this will be a real test of hardiness for the plants in my garden.

Arbutus unedo ‚Compacta‘ lost the flowers, so there’s no hope tasting its weirdly delicious fruit again. The foliage seems okay at the moment.

Argyrocytisus battandieri ‚Yellow Tail‘ looks extremely beautiful with its icy silvery foliage against the snow.

Callistemon citrinus ‚Woodlanders Hardy‘
is peeking out of the snow. This part is probably dead; I hope the rest isn’t.

Delicate Olearia virgata lineata. Too delicate?

The filaments of this Yucca filamentosa looking stunning covered in frost.

Cold and Snow

We got some hard freezes, and possibly there’s more to come.
The temperature in my garden dropped below -11°C. Luckily a warm front brought a lot of snow the days before, so the plants under the snow blanket were somewhat sheltered from the cold (hopefully). Those above the snow weren’t as lucky.

Agarista populifolia looked fine except for the new growth, but that happened prior to this deep freeze.

Aristotelia chilensis already survived last winter. It lost all leaves, though the wood was mostly fine. It resprouted its leaves and has been growing fast, it even flowered (no fruits). I grew it from seed (very easy) and it is now in its third or forth year.

Aristotelia serrata is the New Zealand cousin of A. chilensis. And it behaved quite similar to it (lost the leaves last winter). But interestingly it started already to loose its leave for some time. And I feel it regenerated better from last winter than A. chilensis.
This plant isn’t grown from seed, and I think it’s a male specimen, judging from the flowers last year (and ditto no fruits).

Azara petiolaris is a plant from Chile. Last year it kept its leaves through winter (Tmin=-9°C). But I think it looks rather beaten this time.

Callistemon sieberi ‚Widdicombe Gem‘. C. sieberi should be one of the more hardy Callistemon species. I have three different species in my garden, so I’m curious which one will perform best.

Chamaerops humilis is the only palm in my garden. It was a cheap buy. I’m just not interested in palms.

Hakea microcarpa, said to be the hardiest Protaceae, and another Aristotelia chilensis.

Luma apiculata. Lost its leaves last winter, but came back strongly. Unlike Ugni molinae (an other Myrtaceae) which looked fine through winter, but really was half-dead and regenerated only very slowly.

This is the first winter for Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius ‚Silver Jubilee‘, so no clue how it will do.

Passiflora caerulea keeps on fighting.

Gaultheria (Pernettya) mucronata should do just fine. It originates from the South of Chile and Argentina. The berries are lovely and taste quite nice.

Rubus acuminatus looked really beautiful during growing season, but I think it may loose the leaves. Since I took the photo the leaves turned partly brown.

Ugni molinae looks fine, but looks can be deceiving. It probably won’t do well for me. It’s a shame because the berries are just divine.

And lastly a plain old Yucca filamentosa. This one is an offspring of an bigger plant which we inherited from the previous garden owner.