I am sorry I have been away for so long, but I have also been busy with school and a lot of exams... However, the good news is that I took a lot of pictures meanwhile! Here in Dallas I doubt it will go below 20F any longer until next winter, just by looking at the forecast until the middle of March, it seems like the temperature will not even try to go lower than 40!
So that's why yesterday I removed the winter cloches from the cacti! All the plants that were inside the cloches survived and even.... BLOOOMED!!!
But first let's see what I did for winter!
Before the cold front snatched our area, I planned to create some cloches to cover the cacti that were the most tender. This was my project...
And here it shows how I implemented it!
I also wanted to test whether it was necessary to open the lids every day when it was going to be too warm. I actually left all the cloches closed throughout the entire winter and the cacti did just fine... I was worried about the amount of moisture that would have collected inside and kept the cacti wet... but apparently it seems like it did not harm them at all... My Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) even started to bloom under these conditions!
And so did the Malephora crocea (Coppery Mesemb)!
But the best show was give by the Hardy Living Rocks!!! They did not need to be covered because they can stand temperatures that go even up to 0F. However, when I planted them I technically had to make a big hole and just fill it with gravel and nothing else!!! I have been told they hate to get wet in winter, and I did not want to run the risk.... This is what I was rewarded with!
Rabiea albipuncta (Rabia) (Ready to get close at night)
Here my Rabia open during the day.... such a huge flower! It bloomed in December for Christmas! (Note the cable used to connect the speakers playing the jingles! lol
And then later between January and February, it was the turn for the Aloinopsis!
This is the Aloinopsis spathulata (Pink Hardy Living Stone) closed in the morning!
....and here it is when it opens from noon until it gets dark!
This is an Aloinopsis 'Karoo Red Mix' (Orange Hardy Living Stone)
This is how they looked for the visitor
So, yesterday I took off the cloches, and finally I can see the rock garden at it's natural status once again after so many months! And what did I find? I found other plants about to bloom!!!!
Armeria maritima 'Compacta' (Sea Thrift) --- This one did not need to be covered under a cloche...
Echinocereus triglochidiatus (Strawberry Cactus)
... and this cactus, which I think is a Mammillaria mystax but I don't recall it's name! I bought it in Fort Worth at a cactus nursery, and the guy who sold it to me told me it did not need to be protected in winter. I followed his advice, and now it's blooming. I however would love to be sure this is actually a Mammillaria mystax. Since I also have other two of these plants that I bought from the Lowe's, I will be able to tell when they will bloom... The other two seem to be making some flower buds as well!
That plant to the left shooting up buds is a Dianthus x allwoodii 'Desmond' (Allwood Pinks).
Even the Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is growing back its leaves! Very few people know this plant can survive up to 0F! However, many people think it is ok to buy 5-foot tall plants from New Mexico just to have an instant show. Those plans are usually eradicated from the wild and they can only do so by keeping just a square foot of roots. These plants have a survival rate of 10%. If you want to help nature and preserve these precious plants in the wild, please buy seed-grown plants from eBay! Their survival rate upon transplant is close to 100% and eventually you will have a huge plant blooming! I think this plant is just as terrific as a baby one!