Banana plant

Banana plant

Patience is a virtue.

Not one of my best features but it is a virtue.

“Snowmaggedon” this year has taught me a lot about patience. The snow and freeze we had this year took out a lot of plants. The oleanders I’ve had in my yard for 20 years are, well, gone. They were a freebie 20 years ago from someone’s ditch (yes, I asked first) and grew into 10 foot tall, 10-foot-wide beautiful landmarks. Gone. Dead as a doornail. I swear I could hear my neighbors clapping and jumping up and down when I had decided they were indeed deceased.

My plumerias I kept in the garage didn’t survive either. If anyone wants to share, let me know.

Many of us assumed, most if not all, of our plants went to plant heaven and were, and are often, surprised by which plants made it and which ones did not. My banana plants surprised me the most. I didn’t think they would come back but here they are popping out of the ground calling out, “You didn’t get me!”

In our East Texas area, I have seen a lot of plants being removed from people’s yards. Little green leaves peeping out from the bark of crepe myrtles, azaleas, gardenias, piled up in the burn pile or trailer to go to the landfill.

Yes, I said gardenias. I walked my yard this morning to scratch a little bark here and there. It didn’t have an itch; I was trying to see if it was still green and trying to decide what or if I should trim or remove it. I’m frugal; I do not want to remove it.

Scratch test: Scratch a little piece of the bark; if it is brown underneath, it is dead — at least that portion is. Green indicates it has got life left. Patience, patience, patience.

Lo and behold. Little, tiny green leaves sneaking out amongst all the brown leaves. They are alive! Gardenias! Even my crepe myrtles I had in pots in the back yard leafed out!

A single stalk of lemon grass is poking out of the ground (OK, this one is just confused or was dumb luck).

Please do not feel bad if you already replaced your landscaping; no judgement here. The plant police will not be contacted on your behalf, but I may go on vacation with the money I saved. I’ll send you pictures of my toes in the sand.

The Smith County Master Gardener program is a volunteer organization in connection with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.