Give Plants a Chance
We have just had the hardest winter for many years. I donít know about you but I still felt cold sitting by the fire. So just imagine how the wildlife felt trying to keep warm in the long cold nights. Sadly I found a few birds lying on the snow frozen, even though we had kept the bird feeders and table well stocked. I noticed the birds were roosting inside evergreens to get a little bit more protection from the weather.
It will be interesting to see how the plants in the garden have coped. Things do not look too bad at the moment with the evergreens. The Rhododendrons have just come back up after wilting with the cold, which always looks very strange to me. The Thujas have turned bronze looking but will probably be OK.
We will not know how the deciduous plants have fared until the spring so it is a case of wait and see. I will be surprised if many Lavateras survive, but they might surprise me. After so many mild winters we have all succumbed to planting tender species that are not really hardy enough for our climate.
The important thing is not to give up too soon on anything. Often a plant may look and feel dead, but a bit later than usual a little bud will appear from the bottom of the stem or from under the ground round the old stalk. Then its business as usual, as the root system is intact the plant will grow back to its original size very quickly. Sadly if a grafted plant such as a rose sends up a shoot from below the graft this is of little use. Shoots from above the graft are what you want.
The best way to tell if a shoot is still alive is to gently scratch a little bit of bark with your thumb nail. If the layer under the bark is green it is still alive. If it is brown it is probably dead and can be trimmed back.
Donít give up too soon, give plants a chance.
Don Morgan Morgans Nursery
Stonehouse Lane, Bulkeley
Nr. Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8BQ
Tel. 01829 720514
Web Site: www.hedgeit.co.uk