As we continue to work through our brick patio garden makeover, we also are starting (middle of December) to have heirloom Chinese sacred lily flower bulbs start blooming! If we were to plug this post into our Landscape Design Series, it would fall somewhere in between our “hidden tasks”, “clean up and the remaining mess”, and “hosting during the makeover process”. We had our irrigation installer here yesterday, as it started to sleet, and we had in-laws over for dinner. All the while, Chinese sacred lilies (Narcissus tazetta orientalis) started to bloom (you can read more about them on the SouthernBulbs.com product page here). We’re sold of out Chinese sacred lilies as of this December post in 2022, but if you email Audra at info@SouthernBulbs.com she can put you on a list for next fall.
On top of this, a freeze is coming tonight, so if we’re going to enjoy the flowers, I’ll have to cut them and bring them inside today! Here are the alternate titles:
- It wasn’t supposed to rain on Friday, much less sleet.
- Wait, there’s more brick UNDER your brick?
- A project always goes longer than you expect and takes you to dark.
- Guess what’s blooming in old gardens right now?!
- A freeze is coming. Get ready!
It wasn’t supposed to rain on Friday, much less sleet
We had postponed installing the irrigation twice, once because I wanted to add to the scope of the project and the 2nd time because of rain. It was supposed to be dry yesterday. Instead, just as my in-laws from California arrived, the sleet came tumbling down, and down, and down. That makes for a long day. The lesson? When you start your own brick patio garden makeover in the winter months, just plan for bad weather!
Wait, there’s more brick UNDER your brick?
This part falls under the “hidden tasks” section of your landscape project. We simply keep running into more brick, and I assume that all of you will continue to “uncover” items as you redo portions of your landscape. In this situation, we needed to water jet under our brick to connect an isolated flower bed to a different irrigation zone. As we started to dig under the brick, guess what we found? More brick. To go below THAT brick would have involved, no joke, about 2-3’ of digging. Thankfully, after some work, we were able to go between the two layers of brick.
A project always goes longer than you expect and takes you to dark.
We were hosting dinner last night, so as the sun started to go down, I had to abandon the backyard and go shower. I’m not sure how much “help” I was providing anyways…my back hurts if that is any proof of effectiveness, but I don’t think it is. The crew kept working, and a pang of guilt hit me as I continued to “help” by flicking on the back yard flood light as we carved a Greenberg smoked turkey that arrived as a gift from a local law firm. As we arose from the dinner table and went into the piano room to sing “Joy to the World” I kept one eye on the back yard as they, in the dark, turned irrigation zones on and fined tuned the installation. This falls in the category of “hosting while trying to complete a major landscape project.”
Guess what’s blooming in old gardens right now?!
The snowpacolypse (Snowvid, Snowmageddon) in 2021 that killed our large oak tree that started this brick patio garden makeover also led to a big tree dying and falling on our front power lines. The power company replaced the pole but disturbed my nice clump of Chinese sacred lilies at the same time. They have somewhat recovered and are blooming now! I can never get enough of their sweet fragrance. Note how they compare to their cousins, the paperwhites. Paperwhites are, well, all white, hence the name. Chinese sacred lilies have yellow in their cup. They also have a different fragrance. If you don’t like the smell of paperwhites, you have a much better chance of liking the smell of Chinese sacred lilies.
A freeze is coming. Get ready!
The final alternate title relates to the fact that a hard freeze is coming. As of this writing, they are forecasting a freeze for tonight but worse, 12 degrees F on December 22nd before Christmas! That is cold. What does this freeze mean for flowerbulbs? All of the paperwhites that are blooming or about to bloom will have their blooms freeze to death. The foliage will be burned and will limp along with brown tips until May when the rest of the foliage starts to finally die down naturally. This freeze will slow the garden down until late January/February unless we have another hard freeze. Not much to do, except plan to bring succulents, citrus, and any other sensitive plants inside. I’m also planning on only having the blooms of our Shi-Shi Sasanqua for one more week.
Once my paperwhites die, I plan to pull the annual tulips out of the fridge and plant them in their place. That will get me a beautiful display of color in March, and it will give me another garden project to do in 3 weeks! All the while, our perennial heirloom daffodils and Narcissus on the farm and in the garden aren’t missing a beat!
We’ll probably hold off on planting the ‘Near East’ crape myrtles and dwarf yaupon hollies until after the hard freeze…this is a pretty cold temperature for us. Note: I won’t leave the exposed potted crape myrtles or hollies outside, as the temperature for plants is even colder when they are in pots and exposed to the freezing temperatures on all sides of their root system. There are only two more gardening weeks left in the year and then it will be 2023!