Posted: 23/04/2013 at 11:02
Gardening here was fairly normal till 2009 and the bad winters started. We'd have about 3 weeks of -15C to -20C in January or February when it did little harm and winter was always a little longer than when we were in Harrow but I find increasingly that winters have more extreme dips and highs and the poor old plants don't know whether they're coming or going with a warm spell in Jan followed by deep misery in Feb or this year where we had a balmy start to March and then 6' drifts of snow. Last year I lost most plants to hard frosts in late March after a couple of weeks of warmth conned them into opening up their leaf buds and blossom. Wipe out for many.
I increasingly plant short daffs to avoid the broken stems problem but do have lovely drifts of Ice Follies out the front which I really love and which flower late enough to miss a lot of teh worst winds. I've even managed to get some species tulips to grow in two well drained beds but never yet a long stemmed one. I planted 300 the first year and only 5 came up. I reckon rodents got most and the rest must have frozen.
Last year was hard -too dull and cool and wet like yours. Still, I shall be out there sowing seeds and pricking on and planting out and lifting and dividing with the usual optimism just as soon as I can get about on one crutch.
I hope we all have a better gardening year.