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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 28/12/2014 at 14:35

-5C at midday and bright and sunny so only the stuff on the road has thawed to a slush which will freeze and become a skating rink tonight as we're set to go to -8C.

Staying cold all week with more snow due to fall by Friday so absolutely no gardening but I'll get fresh air walking the dogs so that's OK.

Plants and snow and the Hardiness rating

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 11:51

If it's warm enough for snow to be wet it's warm enough for most garden plants not to need insulation for their branches and crowns but may be too wet for many root systems.   Borderline plants need to be wrapped up in horticultural fleece well in advance of any snow of heavy frosts or else moved to the shelter of a greenhouse or a garage or a conservatory.

Feeding birds Yes or No

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 11:44

It's freezing out there and any snow makes foraging very difficult.  Feed the birds and worry about rats later.


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 15:24

I should think it woul dbe fine as a container for figs but would suggest driling some drainage holes at about 3 or 4 inches above the bottom so they don't sit in stagnant water.   I would also advise lining the insides with bubble warp for extra root insulation.

I did that in a 70 by 70cm square metal pot and my fig survived outside in some pretty rude winters.  However 3 years running it got its top frozen back to the crown as we get very cold here.   It recovered each time but not in tie to produce figs so now I have it in the ground in my unheated greenhouse and it is thriving.

Cornus alba 'Sibirica'

Posted: 27/12/2014 at 13:39

It will survive and thrive if the soil is right but the whole point of the red stems is to see them lit up by low winter sun so hiding it in a north facing aspect with just a bit of sun filitered through a fence won't exactly show it off at its best.  


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 10:10

Snow promised but not delivered.  However howling winds and driven rain all night and our paddock across the road is a lake again with a gaggle of geese and ducks swimming.  I shall have to plant more willows along the stream that marks the boundary.

Plants and snow and the Hardiness rating

Posted: 27/12/2014 at 00:12

Snow acts as an insulator so don't remove it from hardy perennials but do shake if off any branches it is weighing down as the weight can permanently damage plants.

The RHS has recently recognised that varying degrees of hardiness are needed to describe plants more accurately and found that the USA zoning system wouldn't work in the more moderate but also more variable over small distances UK climate.   I'm in central Belgium and find plants do better in winters with lots of snow than the ones where it is cold for long periods without any snow.   It can make the difference between surviving -25C and -15C.

Imperatas, pennisetums and evergreen viburnums do not do well here.

Dilemma........wot to choose?

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 18:35

I don't bother with annuals as they require the same expenditure on compost on time for the sowing, pricking out and growing on as perennials and then you have to do it all over again the following year.  Can't sow direct as the birds/slugs/weeds just get them.

I too have large borders to fill and always some losses after winter.   I do buy Cosmos babies for OH cos he loves them and cleomes for me but otherwise I plan to sow more perennials such as lysimachia Beaujolais and others that I can't find in local garden centres and which I hope will last some years to come. 

Great gardening weather

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 18:27

Grey here but not too cold so I finished the bubble wrap in the greenhouse and stashed all my big pots and troughs of bulbs and went to get some replacement panes for the three I found cracked or broken.   Rolled up and stashed the hose pipes too.

Radio forecast says to expect freezing temps and snow overnight which is a bit of a change of plan so I've got it done just in time.

Has Anybody Got This Rose?

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 18:25

Mine did sulk a bit when first planted out but she's fine now.  Just hope winter doesn't throw too much at her.

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