Sunday, December 8, 2013
Trachycarpus fortunei in snow
I woke up to a light snow this morning, the first of the season. Just that little bit of white completely transforms the garden, making the palms in particular pop out. Windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are hardy to at least the single digits and as long as the snow stays light, it won't cause any harm at all. Even wet, heavy snow will usually only bend the fronds down, but they can break under its weight so it's generally best to brush it off. Today's forecast is for 1-3 inches of snow, which doesn't worry me. The problem is that the snow is forecast to turn to sleet and/or freezing rain later in the day, and that can definitely cause damage. Again, knocking the ice off with a broom is the best defense. I suppose I could cover my palms, or tie up the fronds as some people do, but frankly, that's just too much work. I consider myself a zone-pusher and a minimalist gardener, both of which mean I'm just too damn lazy to do things like protect my plants. I'll give them a good mulching in the fall but otherwise they're on their own until spring.
Here's an overview of the entire garden, as seen from our rooftop deck:
And a closeup of the upper section of the garden after a bit more snow had fallen: