Hopefully thatís another hard winter over. Many of the tender plants that survived from the 2009/10 winter have succumbed this time. So will it be another cold one this autumn? Do we replace the palm trees, cordylines, ceanothus etc? Itís probably time for a change to hardier replacements.
Our native species are very impressive when you think about it. The deciduous ones drop their leaves and hibernate till it warms up again. The evergreens just get on with it.
I was amazed by our lavenders this winter. The larger ones look a bit sad, but the small ones are doing really well even though they were not put in the greenhouse. I can only think that the layer of snow protected them from the worst of the cold. Usually it is mature plants that survive the best.
So itís the old question of whether to dig out a sad looking plant and replace it, or leave it to see if it is still alive. Scratch the bark with your nail to see if it is green and moist, or dry and brown under the surface. If it is green it is alive, so leave it to grow. If brown cut it off, then work your way down the plant until you find some life in it.
This is where we learn what does well in our garden. Replace any losses with something different and see how that works. ĎTrial and errorí is the reason that humans are so successful, you can forget flashes of genius, they donít occur often enough. After all knowledge about how species perform in different environments must have come from observation originally.
So thatís enough gloom and doom have a look round your garden and see what is thriving. Weeds seem to be winning in mine, maybe I should have a wildlife garden.