Gardening where the sidewalk ends

The Lone Hebe Survivor March 13, 2009

Filed under: my garden,perennials,winter — greenwalks @ 12:00 pm

Last fall, I complained that my hebe ‘Red edge’ wasn’t living up to its name. I will no longer whine about this plant, as I am grateful that it somehow survived the evil winter with only a few yellowed leaves, even though I still don’t see much in the way of deep red leaf-edge color.

Hebe 'Red edge' II

Why this one lived through when others did not, I have no idea. Maybe it was more sheltered from winds, living to the east of a medium-sized rockrose. But it still got snow dumped on it, was frozen many times, and lived to tell the tale (unlike my other hebes, which I have sadly realized will have to be taken out and probably not replaced unless I feel like tempting fate again). Or perhaps it’s just hardier in general – this seemed to be the consensus among shoppers at the nursery last week – many were saying it was the only hebe to survive in their gardens too.

Did any of your plants surprise you with their tenacity this winter?


14 Responses to “The Lone Hebe Survivor”

  1. I’m not very good with Hebes – I seem to kill more varieties of this than anything else, so I don’t buy them now. 😦
    Have a good weekend.

  2. Oh, you’ve been so productive; there’s so many posts I haven’t read! In my “rental” garden, the phormiums seem to have given totally up, or are they really going to come up from those dead-looking clumps? Everybody’s rosemaries seem to be quite unhappy (if not totally dead) too; I was wondering if they do survive? It is my first winter in Seattle, and it would be odd for so many people to have these plants, if they are not hardy here…

  3. Racquel Says:

    That’s a great looking plant. I’ve never grown Hebes before but may have to give them a try. I’m glad it survived your winter. I was surprised by the Gentians surviving this year, according to the tag they were annuals. But after further research I found they are hardy (just barely) in my area.

  4. Alice Joyce Says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one…. I CANNOT grow hebes in my garden. I have decided it must the soil ph, but I have never been able to bring myself to get a soil testing kit and go through the process. Obviously, I can live without them. Perhaps the cold contributes, it sound like that’s the theory here. Always enjoy what you have to say!

  5. Catherine Says:

    I’ve never tried hebes. I know some of them are on the edge as far as our zone. I’m glad that this one made it through for you. I’m actually surprised the Mexican orange is still covered in leaves. I had read it could suffer frost damage, but it still looks great!

  6. Gail Says:

    I have never even thought of growing them…I suspect they would dislike this garden..they do remind me of a euphorbia or two that I do want to try! gail

  7. Grace Says:

    I am extremely fortunate to have a local nursery at my hebe disposal. The owner is a hebe fanatic and she’s constantly propagating new ones. One-inch plugs sell for 75 cents. Needless to say I’ve tried many, many hebes. The larger leafed varieties did not survive except for potted ‘speciosa’ and ‘Oratia’ that I coddled.

    The best looking hebe by far this winter has been ‘Saphire.’ Maybe I’ll post a picture. H. anomala purpurea took a few hits but has survived. All of my small leafed hebes did fine, except, ironically my ‘Red Edge.’ 🙂 Yours looks a hundred times better than mine. If you ever plan to drive down to/through the Albany area, let me know and I’ll give you directions to the aforementioned nursery.

  8. Melanthia Says:

    My larger leafed hebes bit it for the most part. I’ve got a couple Red-Edge and then those green gray varieties that had no problems. But Great Orme and Amy are on death’s door.

  9. Curmudgeon Says:

    Our hebe is toast. It was a beautiful variegated one with lavender flowers. It was most happy through last winter but this winter the cold and snow did it in. Our rosemary is blooming like crazy.

  10. Aerie-el Says:

    I’ve forgotten which hebe I have planted (not ‘red edge’), but when I inspected it the other day, there were shoots coming up from the roots/soil. Don’t despair, there might be something there! Check first before you rip them out…or if you really want something new, then of course, obviously they’re toast and need to be removed!
    My phormiums bit the dust and much of my large rosemary plant did too. This winter was not for the timid!

  11. jean Says:

    Phormiums -dead. Rosemary – dead. Olive tree -dead (of course) But my small leafed hebe Caledonia” is doing fine. I am still waiting to cut everything back as I think new growth may really begin this week with the warmer weather. The poor old garden looks terrible for now but pruning day will be the most fun I’ve had in a while. And there will, unfortunately, be a lot of “shovel pruning”.

  12. Paula Says:

    My former garden had several of the green/gray varieties that I really liked. I wonder how they have done. So far, I think my rosemary has made it. It is an upright rather than the more sensitive spreading variety. What’s up with those sunny weekdays and this rainy Saturday?

  13. chris Says:

    Funny! The post I was currently working on was in regards to a Hebe ‘Red Edge’ too! Both of mine survived the winter no problem. If you read my latest entry I’ve got a different kind of issue with my hebe!

  14. Jocelyn Says:

    My hebes are all looking pretty dead. And I seem to have lost a HUGE (6-foot) NZ flax. I’m not giving up yet, but I’m not very optimistic. The flax has made it through 10 winters here, but this one may have done it in.

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