First contender: the chile pequin, shown above. The friend who gave me this one had several and told me that the plants she treated worst grew the best. This one she neglected, and it looked fabulous when she gave it to me. It even produced a few chiles before realizing it had been moved into the equivalent of a plant's lap of luxury: Hill Country garden soil from the Natural Gardener.
It has since lost all its leaves.
Verdict: Dead (?)
Up next: Forsythia sage
I am a little more confident that this one will come back. I haven't grown this particular sage before, but I know that in general sages will come back.
This growth at the base gives me even more hope. Of course, I then went and moved it this weekend, perhaps thwarting its return to brilliance.
Verdict: DormantNext up: blue porterweed, aka rat's tail
I bought this plant on sale at the end of the season. It was in bloom, with long thin blue flowers that looked, well, like rat tails. After my husband's long ago brush with the namesake and my more recent one, I'm not sad to see this one go. Too many memories of the tail brushing past my head.
Verdict: Dead (it may actually be dormant but won't be for long. I'm pulling it out and replacing with a plant that will offer more pleasant flashbacks.)
Mexican mint marigold: I'm not sure about this one. I actually have two. One looks more pathetic than the other.
I'm guessing with "Mexican" in the name I might should have covered it when we had those freezes, but that would have violated my tough love gardening credo. (Okay, and it would have required me to get outside in the cold. Hey, if tough love works for the Ogdens--and those people are professionals--it works for me.)
Verdict: Dormant (I think I see some green on some of the stems when I pruned it. Time will tell. I did move both of them this weekend so they might have a little more of a struggle.)Okay, yes, I realize this isn't a plant, but when I saw it I thought this worm totally fit the game. I mean other than a disgusting globule, what could it be other than a dormant worm? It had twisted itself into an impossible knot. I wondered if it would be able to unfurl itself.Verdict: Dormant. When the sun hit it, the worm definitely unfurled itself, until I finally relocated it to an area where it would be in less peril.
The last contestant in this game is the American beautyberry. I couldn't get a good picture of it (them really, there are two) because neither has any leaves. They are just a stick in the ground with a few small branches.
Maybe, maybe this tip shows that some new growth will come.
Verdict: Dormant. Goodness, I hope so. Otherwise, combined the plants above that I've killed, I may only have living plants in two of my three new beds!