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This weather is not only a test for the birds plants and other wild life its certainly a test for the pots the plants are in, mine are suffering this winter with chuncks of pots allover its been the worst winter for pot casualty even my hanging bird bath.frost free means not 2009 winter frost free. Anyway keep warm we'll collect them up in the spring and make some mosaques out of them.
Good point. When is a frost resistant pot really frost-proof? When buying terracotta pots do check whether they really are robust enough to withstand a good old-fashioned British winter. Pot makers like Whichford Pottery do guarantee their pots a frost-proof for 10 years, I believe. So, how do they manage this? I think it's a combination of the quality of the clay they use and more importantly the very high temperature used to fire their pots. The old addage 'you get what you pay for' springs to mind. Cheaper imported pots may not be as robust as more expensive pots made by potters in this country. Perhaps a potter out there could post a comment wit more detail.
Adam - I too have a large oleander in a pot - have managed to keep it for about 10 years now but do always put it in an unheated greenhouse over winter except for when I lived in South Devon and there it survived quite happily although I don't think we had a frost in the 4 years we lived there. I am pleased to say it looks OK in the cold greenhouse even though we had weeks of frost after New Year and then, of course, the recent snow.
I find that my Insectivorous plant like the snow as it keeps the ice and cold out of the growing tips / buds. I have posted some photos of my insectivorous bog with snow on and it looks great. www.insectivorusplants.co.uk. I also feel the snow helps to hold some of our plants back as we have had a number warm winters and spring plants have came out too quick and I feel may damage them in the end as they sometime re- flower again later as the season is longer then in the past.
not many terracotta pots are hardy I have some very heavy made in England types and even those have perrished, the best ones seem to be the grey ones that look as though they are made of concrete, had some of those since 1970's good as new even now and ofcourse the heavy glazed pots do rather well but it is the fact that they get wet if you leave them out and when the big freeze comes the soil freezes expands and the pot explodes.

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I asked last week if anyone had an idea as to why my polycarbonate greenhouse is soaking wet and dripping water iside all my plants have (geraniums) have now withered despite the bubble wrap. Can anyone help!
Tazzywazzy The reason to damp in a greenhouse is at night the temp' form outside and in is different and this make drew on the glass, plastic and even your bubble wrap. So it's best to make sure that you have no water about and that you have some old cloth that you can dry the wrap and stop the dripping onto your plants as geraniums like a dryer soils at winter and you are best make sure that you only water if the soil is bone dry. A heater could help stop some wet, but as this can be trouble if you need to have cold for your plant have a rest.
both my mimosa trees of 5 years look dead, with the severe frostof winter is there nything I can do other than pull them up
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Having wondered around the garden to access the damage from the winters ravages, I'm really saddened. The losses of shrubs to the winter weather is soul destrying. Myrtle, Pittisporum, just two of 7 plants gone, brown twigs of their former glory. How long should I wait to see if life is still in there? I'm so sad!
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Just purchased three oleanders, can you give me some advise on what compost to put them in if to be in a pot?  thanks

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