Friday, February 15, 2013

Sempervivum, Ever Living.

A week ago the storm that immobilized the eastern seaboard, past this way leaving over 30 centimetres of snow.  This was not an unusual amount for this part of the world, but it was the most we've experienced since 2008, and was also one of the most dramatically beautiful sights after the constant snowfall piled itself vertically with very little drifting.  This left two urns of Sempervivums into  two busby wearing sentries. 
Remarkably, after only seven days these helmets have completely disappeared, revealing the Semps. looking completely unfazed by wind or snow. The conventional wisdom is that Semps. are best wintered over in a dry location, such as under the eaves of the house or in an unheated porch, but these plants have survived perfectly well fully exposed to snow and rain and growing in containers without particularly good drainage. 
One of the urns wearing a busby and stylish collar of snow.

A week later all the snow has gone and the sempervivums are revealed.

The plants are unaffected by the extreme weather.


9 comments:

Helen said...

Amazing that they aren't water-logged. "Not particularly good" drainage is presumably not the same as no drainage?

Paul Jung said...

Hi Barry,

the genus living up to its namesake, they're tough little guys, aren't they?

Another cold weekend coming....

Melanie J Watts said...

It's no surprise to me. I live in zone 3 in northern BC. My many cultivars of Sempervivum stay outside all winter where they are buried in 2-3 feet of snow from November to May. I started growing Sempervivum when I lived further north in zone 2. I find unconventional wisdom to be a lot more reliable :)

danger garden said...

There is nothing dry about winter in Portland, Oregon, and my many Sempervivum cruise right through even in clay soil. These are amazing plants. Don't know what I would do without them!

Barry Parker said...

Hi Helen,

You know how it is with those old cement urns, they have a hole about 1cm wide, which I'm sure very quickly silts up. But, as I say, they seem to be quite happy in these containers.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Paul,
Real tough ( see Melanie's comment ). Definitely one genus we don't have to worry about in these yo-yo like temperatures.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Melanie,
Good to hear just how hardy these little guys are, I wonder how heat tolerant they are ??

Barry Parker said...

Hi Lorree,

They are irresistible aren't they! I'm looking forward to the Spring when they really show their colours. I'll probably buy more then too!

gardener said...

Love the helmet - it's perfect. You are giving me hope. I watered mine – in a trough – today and surprisingly they haven't turned into little crisps yet. Maybe this is the year they make it to spring.