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Destruction, devastation and hope........................


This is something I’m sure we have all been affected by this past week in the UK – FROST!!!!!!!!!!!
Even down here on the Isle of Wight which is one of the warmest parts of the UK, I have had some garden casualties, mostly plants in the new front garden which I completed in the Autumn.

From looking lush green and promising, the garden looks droopy and I think some of the plants are dead. Firstly the Echium Candicans

I planted 3 as the centre display around a Mexican Yucca, but the leaves are black with frost and the plants have drooped, I am not sure if they will recover but they look like they will need to be replaced

The next casualty looks like it could be the Osteospernum, an orange variety. The leaves aren’t black, but the plant has drooped, I am waiting for the weather to warm up and revive the poor thing

I planted 3 in total to form a beautiful lush barrier. They even have bud and one opened up last week, but along came the cold snap…….

The last casualties, I think are the Hydrangeas – ‘Lady in red’. These are small but the ground around them is solid and they look pretty sick

On some of the shrubs there has been a bit of leaf loss and some of the leves are droopy and a little black from frost burn, but I think they will recover pretty well
The callistemons

Surprisingly, the Coprosma ‘Pink Splendour’ has faired bettet than most of the shrubs in the garden, some of the leaves are a little brown and crispy around the edges, but all in all they seen ok.

As i looked around the garden, the plants that originate from New Zealand seem to have survived and are handling the cold spell better than any of the others, the Coprosma as shown above and the Grevillea rosmarinifolia. It is still flowering, although the blooms look a bit sad, it is full of bud and doing pretty well

The rosemary seems to be confused about the time of year as well, but I’m not complaining!

This little beauty is also flowering away…………………

I’m not actually too sure what this is, I think it is a Jasmine as it does smell pretty good, but usually in the Summer/Autumn months. I bought it from the Botanical Gardens in Ventnor, but I lost the label :(

The last is something which I have been waiting to flower since it arrived in Autumn. The catkins were grey and tightly budded, but now they have relaxed and look beautiful and have doubled in size – the Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’. Thanks to a photograph posted by Andrewr last year I really fell for this gem. It is planted on the corner of a North west facing corner and I am going to train it up the wall and around the corner of the house.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t need to replace any of these plants, the weather is supposed to be warming up slightly, but the wind is going to be up to force 5, roll on Spring, I hate this cold weather……….

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Oh Andrea - your poor plants! I really feel for you... My Hydrangea looks poorly too - but I did see new buds at its base, so maybe they will all perk up later.

I can ID your unknown plant for you - it's Coronilla valentina subs. glauca 'Citrina'. I have the brighter yellow one and mine is also in flower. I posted a photo yesterday.

I am pleased and relieved that your coprosmas have survived. Great shame about your new bed. I suspect the plants hadn't had time to get their roots in - too much of a shock to them now.

Like me, you will be out shopping for replacements in the spring, I guess! Not too soon - wait and see what recovers, we may both be surprised!

P.S. I hate the cold weather, too!

9 Jan, 2009


I do hope members' gardens haven't suffered too much from this cold weather. As Spritz says, maybe some plants will be more resilient than appears at first glance.

Andrew, have your neighbours commented on whether there has been such a severe frost on the Isle of Wight over recent decades ?

9 Jan, 2009


Oh dear...all your hard work too..... But I think at least some of your plants ought to bounce back - as Barbara says, you might find buds coming up from the base of plants where they were more protected. I had some small hydrangeas in pots from cuttings last summer and they SEEM to be alright....time will tell.

9 Jan, 2009


Some of my plants were all drooping & looked about dead, but yesterday it rained alday & there was no frost over night, & they look ok today, dont know if my new little plants will servive that i put in before all the frost came,but only thing is we will have to do it again, suppose it's all part & parcel of liking gardening,what's the saying take the rough with the smooth.

9 Jan, 2009


Sorry Andrea, noticed I called you Andrew by mistake. :o)

9 Jan, 2009


O No all those Lovely plants u put out in2 that lovely Boader :( So sorry4your loss :/

9 Jan, 2009


Oh Andrea, i really feel for you, but as the others have said, all may not be lost, i think i may have a few casualties come spring, same problem, newly planted, my burgandy Rhododendron that i moved just before the cold hit, is looking rather sorry for it's self, and i am a bit concerned about the 2 cortinus i have standing in a very sheltered corner of the patio, still in the pots as i have'nt been able to plant them, i have tucked a bit of fleece around the pots and base of them but they are still frozen solid. i think a lot of the other things that are new in should be ok, because of my little fleece tents that i made, but then that is all very well in the back garden is'nt it, but not holding my breath, as well as the cold, nothing has had any water for ages. i have put the odd sprinkling here and there on the pots as and when they have thawed, but the ground has stayed frozen now for quite a few weeks. Your mexican yucca looks ok though, mine is also doing ok with this weather, it is still in a very large and thick terricotta pot, which is bubble wrapped, the pot not the plant lol. i have'nt fleeced it. think i might plant mine in the ground in the spring, have an ideal place for it that is against the wall in the front of the house. really sunny and a warm wall as there is a radiator on the other side of it. but one thing i am a bit concerned with is are the roots a problem right next to the house, do you know Andrea? and i have my fingers crossed for your babies xx

9 Jan, 2009


So do I hate the cold Andrea. I hope your plants survive. Osteospermums never survive the winter outside here in Wales. But this year they've even died in the protection of the shed.

9 Jan, 2009


Actually you will be amazed at how hardy some plants are!

Many have the ability to 'shut down' and survive the frost despite looking rather sickly at the moment.

Dont dismiss them yet. You may find that they have survived when Spring arrives.

9 Jan, 2009


I was going to wait until I ripped them all up, it's just the front garden and it looks shoddy, but I know I've got to give it some time. I am going to do some mulching this weekend just in case we get any more prolonged frosts

9 Jan, 2009


Yep that is what i have been doing Andrea, will also help keep in what little mosture the soil has at the moment.

9 Jan, 2009


Thoroughly agree with Grenville give them a chance. I have my fingers crossed for my 6ft Echium that is 2 years old. He is fleeced but he looks all sulky and grumpy with his leaves starting to curl in on himself.

Let them hold their breath for a few more weeks until it really warms up.

I liked the fact that you say your front garden looks shoddy. Does everyone elses in your street/road look fantastic at this time of year? I think yours looks great.

9 Jan, 2009


Evergreen leaves will droop becasue the roots aren't getting enough water to them (remember the summer of 2006?). It's the same principle - the groud is frozen so water is not available. As soon the ground thaws out a bit, normal service will, hopefully, be resumed. That's why thing like rhodos may look a bit sorry at present

9 Jan, 2009


Oh Andrew, you have made me a happy woman, I just went out to put rubish out - the freezing fog is back, and my Pieris, my pride and joy, is all droopy and not looking at all happy - SHOCK HORROR!!!!! life and my garden would just not be the same without it. and also good news for my sick looking Rhodo too. just hope it gets mild enough for a good down pour soon. - and yes Andrea, Trees does have a point,' shoddy' is not a word i would use to discribe any of the garden pictures that i have seen.

9 Jan, 2009


Cheer up folks and have a little faith,I think Mother Nature is trying to put us back on an even keel,how often have we all said we need a proper winter to get rid of those pesky bugs, both for our sakes and our gardens,those plants are like us they need a rest now and again,I,m always a bit jaded in winter myself and if I can perk up so can my plants.........

10 Jan, 2009


Don't worry about your Hydrangea, Andrea. It should be fine. Lady in red is hardy down to USDA zone 6 and probably even zone 5. That means it should be good as follows......Zone 6: -23 to -18 C (-10 to 0 F).
Hydrangeas of all types grow around here and I'm even colder at zone 4b ot 5a. Same with Rhodos. They will be just fine. If they have flower buds already you may lose some but you shouldn't lose the plant.

10 Jan, 2009


ofcourse you are quite right Linclass, we have needed a proper winter, and lets look on the bright side, a cold winter usually means a hot summer!!!! now that would be worth all this would'nt it! and Gilli, i think the Pieris will be fine, its the Rhodo i am worried about because it was moved just before the cold spell Nov/Dec time so it has'nt had chance to establish yet. but what will be will be, i have done the best i can for it.

10 Jan, 2009


Last night was dreadful, it looked like a couple of inches of snow this morning, but it was just frost. The Island doesn't usually get this sort of frost, only usually a light covering every now and then, not continuous heavy frost. The Echiums are completely black now! Whilst driving around the Island earlier I noticed that Cordylines that are now huge trees with multi stems are black and all the leaves are drooping. The last time I remember things this bad was over 20 years ago (or so my Mum told me) we lost the Cordyline in our garden and several other casualties. This has to be the worst I have ever seen it. I am already planning the replacement plants!

10 Jan, 2009


i hope you dont loose too many plants. we have had the worst frosts in the sixteen years we have been here. we usualy get frosts but they are gone by lunch time. this year we stayed frozen for ten days without thawing once.

its amazing how the same plant , planted in different parts of the same garden fair differently.

some of my outside succulents are horizontal, soft, brown and DEAD.

the ones up against the south wall of my house are slightly frosted.

the ones facing south with shrubs and hedges protecting the fron the north wind are looking great.

we just keep on

10 Jan, 2009


We do indeed Sandra, we have'nt had heavy frost for a couple of days, there has been a scattering but not too heavy, the ground has remained frozen for about 2 weeks now, it has thawed a bit here and there up the end of the garden as and when the sun comes out, but not for long. i think the worst of it here is thick freezing fog, the leaves on my evergreens are frozen solid, i come back from my mums thursday evening about 6pm and it was so thick i had to keep the windscreen wipers on all the way home because it kept frosting up the windscreen. and it was - 5 when i came out of work tonight, and the fog was just starting to loom about and that is at 5pm. it is about tonight, but not as heavy as it has been, it's like a bad Stephen King movie - keep expecting something to jump out on me lol.

10 Jan, 2009


I can appreciate how you feel, we live over the water from you, and we have grown many tender plants that look dreadful at the moment, and we have a wedding taking place in our garden in May.....hey ho the garden usually looks great as a rule, typical.....but never say die?

11 Jan, 2009


how lovely to have a wedding in your garden Dd. i'd love one of my kids to get married in our garden. whos wedding?

11 Jan, 2009


Yeah sounds lovely Dd, hopefully May this year will be every bit as lovely as last year, - about the only bit of summer we had if i remeber rightly! and speaking as a florist so much scope for bridal flowers too. if ever i managed to get dragged down the isle - or garden path (more like it in my experiences! lol) i think i would choose May.

11 Jan, 2009


Hi Sandra it is my youngest daughter Hannah at long last, you can read all about it in my blog, if you have a mind to.

12 Jan, 2009

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