The color gray in the garden + potted olive trees = something with which I am delightfully smitten right now.
One of the questions I was most frequently asked on the recent OHS garden tour was...
"Do you bring in all of these pots over the winter?"
To which I respond that I do not. All of them, that is. Select tender plants and succulents must, of course, be protected from the cold, and I bring them in accordingly. Others are right on the cusp of needing cover...they may need protection (depending on the depth of cold, their individual micro climate in the garden, and what variety they are), but they are simply too large, or too unwieldy to move, and so must take their chances with Jack Frost and Mother Nature.
I accept that there may be winter casualties, but I factor in their potential loss...and can accept their possible demise come spring.
There is NO question, however, that I will provide winter cover to my two-year old olive trees. (I buy them from Schubert Nurseries (here)).
No doubt I am feeling particularly motherly right now, as these little Mediterranean, gray leaved beauties are bearing their first offspring...
The most alluring little plum-hued olives you've ever seen.
I bought the plants originally for their lance-shaped gray foliage...and the sheer romantic notion of growing an olive tree...without great, if any, expectation that they would produce. One I potted in classic terracotta, 'mulched' if you will with purple clover that grows at the base. (I remember seeing this pairing in Rome...probably just weedy happenstance, but thought it might be an auspicious sign that my little tree would thrive; consequently I did not remove it when it decided to move in with the little tree.)
As my intentions were not symmetrical, the second tree was planted in a traditional footed concrete urn and mulched in gravel. I particularly like
the gray foliage contrasted against the maroon 'Black Cherry' wave petunias and
the striking yucca.
They have proved to be remarkably easy to care for. Demanding little, even during the winter, when brought in and placed in an area of only relatively bright light...in front of a large north facing window.
And it was out of said north facing kitchen window that I was looking...when I decided that I MUST tell you about my dear little olive trees.
I have become enchanted by these trees. If you'd like to see more, follow my 'OLIVO' board, or any of my boards (here) on Pinterest, or click on the 'P' icon in the 'Follow Me' section of my home page.