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.

Impressions from 2016

A disclaimer: My gardening interests changed drastically since I started this blog a couple of years ago. I started out with an interest in heirloom vegetable varieties, then I liked little cultivated wild vegetables and fruit. I became interested in Australian food plants, which turned into an interest in all plants from the Southern Hemisphere (but not exclusively) that are growable in my climate. So, to mark this change I’m gonna start to write the blog in English, and I’m hopefully going to post more often.

Last year I was a bit lazy and didn’t take many or even regularly pictures. Some pictures got lost with a broken camera. Well, here’s what I got:

Abeliophyllum distichum probably ‚Roseum‘, because it clearly doesn’t flower white like the wild form. But I bought it without a cultivar name. It didn’t do well for me, maybe it just needs some time. It’s related to Forsythia but flowers earlier in the year.

Bulbine bulbosa. Grown (easily) from seed. This Australian plant is a bit of a mystery to me. I planted it in three spots in my garden. In the spot shown in the picture, which I thought was the best drained with the best soil, it rotted away in summer. In the other spots the plants never got this big, but are still living and were even self-seeding. Maybe it will come back after winter, but I don’t have high hopes it will. The plant to the left of it is Rhaphithamnus spinosus. I don’t think it’s very hardy; last winter all parts of the plants above the ground froze off.

Crataegus orientalis. The fruit of this species is really good, they taste like apples. But sadly there’s almost no flesh around the seeds.

I love especially the look of the flowers after the petals have fallen off. Don’t they look a bit like Eucalyptus?

Nemophila menziesii grows as an annual. Perhaps it is going to reseed.

Olearia macrodonta is a plant from New Zealand. No idea if it’s hardy enough, but it’s just a beautiful plant. The leaves are amazing!

The flowers are pretty, too.

And finally, Parahebe catarractae ‚Avalanche‘. It survived winter pretty good with almost no leaf loss.

2015 im Rückblick, Teil 2

Bisherige Tiefsttemperatur: -9°C

LumaLuma2 Luma apiculata. Die Blätter dieser Pflanze haben den tiefen Frost im Gegensatz zur Ugni molinae nicht überlebt. Scheint weniger winterhart zu sein. Die Beeren sind allerdings sehr interessant; sie haben eine einzigartige trockene Konsistenz (soweit ich das von der einzelnen Beere beurteilen kann, die gewachsen ist).

Maianthemum Maianthemum2Maianthemum stellatum. Sehr leckere Beeren mit einem Geschmack nach Melasse. Tragen besser, wenn sie bestäubt werden. Für schattige Plätze.

Mitchella repensMitchella repens. Hat bisher nur geblüht nicht gefruchtet. Langsam wachsender Bodendecker.

MuehlenbeckiaMuehlenbeckia axillaris. Bodendecker mit winzigen Beeren. Ist mir wahrscheinlich eingegangen, weil es am Standort zu feucht war.

NothofagusNothofagus antarctica. Schönes Bäumchen.

Oelweide Oelweide2 Oelweide3Elaeagnus umbellata. Sehr schöne Beeren, adstringierend. Braucht einen Befruchter, bildet aber auch alleine ein paar wenige Beeren. Stickstoffsammler.

PawPaw PawPaw2Asimina triloba. Alias Pawpaw. Braucht einen Befruchter. Langsam wachsend.

PerillaPerilla frutescens. Intressantes japanisches Gewürz. Schmeckt minzig. Erträgt keinen Frost.

Pernettya Pernettya2Gaultheria mucronata. Sehr empfehlenswerte Beerenpflanze. Trägt eine Unmenge an Früchten. Braucht aber mindestens eine männliche Pflanze, die keine Beeren trägt. In Mengen genossen werden sie bitter. Die pinken Früchte sind süsser als die weissen.

Podophyllum Podophyllum2 Podophyllum3Podophyllum peltatum. Schneckenanfällig. Bisher nur geblüht, nicht gefruchtet.

ProstantheraProstanthera cuneata. Ist mir im Sommer eingegangen. Guter Geschmack.

ProteaProtea subvestita. Die Protea-Arten keimen erstaunlich einfach. Die Sämlinge haben Frost bis -4°C locker weggesteckt.RubusRubus phoenicolasius. Zuverlässige Rubus-Art. Guter Geschmack, trockener als Himbeeren.

SaxifragaSaxifraga stolonifera ‚Kinki Purple‘. Schöne Pflanze. Gut winterhart. Anscheinend essbar, aber kein toller Geschmack.

SchisandraSchisandra chinensis. Bisher nur geblüht, nicht gefruchtet. Braucht wahrscheinlich einen Bestäuber. Treibt erstaunlich früh aus, verliert aber auch früh die Blätter.

Szechuanpfeffer Szechuanpfeffer2Zanthoxylum simulans. Empfehlenswerte Pflanze. Bisher nicht geblüht. Braucht wahrscheinlich einen Bestäuber. Die Blätter sind aber essbar. Sehr guter Geschmack. Hier gilt seltsamerweise: Je älter die Blätter, desto besser der Geschmack. Die Stacheln stören aber den Genuss.

Tasmannia Tasmannia2Tasmannia lanceolata. Haben die -9°C gut weggesteckt. Die Blätter sind unbeschädigt. Die Trockenheit im Sommer war ärger.

TriteleiaTriteleia laxa. Wahnsinnig schöne Blütenfarbe, welcher das Foto in keinster Weise gerecht wird. Tiefstes Blau. Gut winterhart.

2015 im Rückblick, Teil 1

AccaAcca sellowiana. Hat zwei Winter an der Hauswand gut überstanden.

Argentinische Myrte Argentinische Myrte2Argentinische Myrte. Wurde mir als Myrteola nummularia verkauft. Sieht eher wie eine Myrtus communis aus. Ist mir im Sommer eingegangen.

AraliaAralia cordata. Wurde von Schnecken weggefressen.

Aronia Aronia2 Aronia3 Aronia4Aronia melanocarpa „Viking“. Fruchtet schon als kleine Pflanze.

AristoteliaAristotelia chilensis. Zweijährig, aus Samen gezogen. Wächst sehr schnell. Dieses Jahr ausgepflanzt. Hat den Winter bis jetzt gut überstanden.

Berberitze1 Berberitze2 Berberitze3Berberis koreana „Rubin“. Gute, saure Beeren. Vielversprechend.

BerkheyaBerkheya purpurea. Aus Samen gezogen.

BillardieraBillardiera longiflora. Die Beeren haben auch mit Kochen keinen Geschmack. Allerdings wird die Konsistenz besser und die Farbe bleibt erhalten. Ausgepflanzt.

Bulbine frutescens Bulbine frutescens2Bulbine frutescens. Aus Samen gezogen (schwierige Keimung). Wächst schnell. Hatte keinen Platz, darum ausgepflanzt (obwohl sie als Pflanze für USDA-Zone 9 gilt), bis jetzt gut überstanden.

CephalotaxusCephalotaxus harringtonia.

CommelinaCommelina communis. Aus Samen gezogen. Essbar, aber kulinarisch wenig interessant.

CrataegusCrataegus orientalis.

CystusCistus incanus ssp. tauricus. Ist mir im Sommer eingegangen.

DianellaDianella brevicaulis. Aus Samen gezogen. Ein Exemplar bereits ausgepflanzt, lebt noch.

ErbsenHübsche Erbsenkreuzung. F1-Generation.

Fuchsia Fuchsia2Fuchsia „Phyllis“. Diese Fuchsiensorte soll die beste Fruchtqualität haben. Die Beeren schmecken nach meiner Erfahrung furchtbar.

GranatapfelPunica granatum „Nana“. Ausgepflanzt.

GunneraGunnera magellanica. Bereits seit zwei Jahren im Freiland. Wächst aber aus irgendeinem Grund nicht gut.

Hebe Hebe2 Hebe1Verschiedene Heben: Hebe buxifolia, Hebe pinguifolia.

JiaogulanGynostemma pentaphyllum.

Kornellkirsche1 Kornellkirsche2KornellkirscheCornus mas „Kazanlak“.