14 February 2009

jack frost squashed it


Despite expecting a garden full of frosted mush the ice and snow has done surprisingly little harm.  A week of sub-zero night-time temperatures and earth as 'hard as i-yon' has only really finished off the remainder of last years softer leaves that were hanging on.  These had the  general look of 'too long in the drawer' lettuce, not fully alive, not yet quite departed.  They won't be missed and there's now a winter dormant tidyness that's usually missing here.

The cold itself seems to have had little effect on supposedly tender plants, even the Echiums that were floppy and drooped now are up and ready to grow.   The blanket of snow is supposed to insulate the plants but there was hard frost for days after the snow had melted so why there isn't more damage I don't know. 

The biggest problem has been the very weight of the snow on everything.  Some plants simply could not hold the weight  Not surprisingly all the Coronilla, full of scented blossom, are now face down in the mud but these always seem to go over at the first gust of wind.  The scented Pelargonium shrublets have grown woody over the years and seem surprisingly tough but they are frustratingly brittle and now a three year old Copthorne has had its 'legs' broken.  The big clumps of Stinking Hellebore (it doesn't) have been pushed apart, exposing smooth green 'canes' laying flat on the ground, but the big soft green flower heads have already started to turned up to the light - business as usual it seems.  Shame they're over the path and will get walked on if left, I must remember to tie them up.                                                                                                                                                                                        

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