The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

After the snow


I enjoy seeing a bit of snow in the garden each year and, if the truth be said, I don’t really feel I’ve had a winter without some. But all the same by the third white day I’m more than happy to see it disappear. This is a declaration of maturing years and one I’m happy to admit to. My days of sliding down snowy slopes on a metal tea tray are now left to those who can jump off in time when the fence approaches out of control!!

This year the snow did some damage when its weight strained branches beyond breaking point. These often occurred at branch junctions that led to spitting that sheared down the trunk. The biggest victims being those evergreen shrubs and trees where every leaf became a snow-filled spoonful.

Now, after several days of winter thaw even the deeply banked stuff has departed leaving behind soggy earth and some very sorry-looking plants such as the mushy-looking agapanthus, hedychium and sychstolsis in ground.

Even with snow on the ground it was good to get out and work in the garden clearing the ‘debris’. Of course while it’s sad to be the ‘surgeon’ cutting out damaged wood the flip side to all this is that it lets in life-giving light for others to capitalise upon. So while there are holes in odd places these will be quickly filled by something new and equally exciting by the summer.

Now is the time to wander around the garden with a critical eye, secateurs and wheelbarrow uncovering and cleaning out plants that have been entombed in last seasons growth. Many of these are plants, like those mentioned above, were in flower late in to the autumn and were left alone to be enjoyed. But once the mushy part has been removed they are invariably firm underneath and breathe a sigh of relief when they see the morning sun once more.

I’ve just hacked off a huge amount from my eleagnus plants. Some stems had been losing their colour (reverting) but most of it was just excessive growth that needed a hard prune. Stepping back it was obvious the plants looked better for it and their shorter neighbours are able to see daylight.

Despite the surgical work I there are wonders to behold.

My sarcocca plants are currently providing their distinctive and powerful scent that seems to follow me around the garden. The clematis amandii seem to be saying snow? What snow? As their buds fatten up to produce flowers in about two weeks time. Elsewhere their cousins are shooting new leaf everywhere (I have 100+ clematis varieties). I’m already keeping an eye on the early flowering types ready to snip off any ‘deadweight’.

The ribes laurifolium is now producing its glorious annual show and when you think that last week they were beneath almost a foot of snow the results are even more surprising!

The roses are coming on strongly too, though the odd plant needs an additional snip to remove the odd ‘die back’. But the biggest surprise for me are the delphiniums shooting! Such sights prove that spring is just around the corner. Right now we just need to keep an eye out for the emerging new growth lest the sluggies spot them first!!

More blog posts by Muddywellies

Previous post: Greenhouse heating and greenhouse growing advice

Next post: Clean hands in the garden



There is still snow in my gardens, but the sun is out.
Thank you for useful advice in this blog.
Are you sure that last week you didn't take just one secret slide down the snow on the tea tray ?

... and, though I've said it before, thank you, Muddywellies, for being one of the main reasons I joined GoY :o)

13 Feb, 2009


we had 6inches yesterday after 4 days of no snow but hard frosts. The sun is shining and the sky is blue but very cold. i am desperate to get old shady borders cleaned up. I planted yellow archangel [Lamium] in a very shady place 5 years ago and now i have to cut it back hard so i can plant other woodland goodies. My greenhouse is almost full already and i havent started off my annual seeds.
in fact I am going to brave the cold to set my brassicas off under glass. thermals on and ready to go.
really like GoY :)

13 Feb, 2009


Had no snow up here at all, infact to comper with rest of uk we have had a very good winter.

13 Feb, 2009


Oooo. I am so envious that your gardens are waking up. The past week we had been having a bit of a thaw. But, that was short lived. It has snowed here for the past two days. The snow melt that was gained over the past week has been made up for with the new snowfall. We sitll have at least 12" in most spots in the back garden although there is one patch under the Douglas Fir where the grass was showing through. Still, it is only the middle of February and the snow is usually here for another month yet. When I read of your plants sprouting and see photos of the bulbs coming up and the hellebores flowering it reminds me of the things to come here. We just have to wait a little longer. :o)

14 Feb, 2009


100 Clematis. That's wonderful. I had about 25 diferent ones in my old garden. I hope to get some more here.

14 Feb, 2009

Add a comment

Recent posts by Muddywellies

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Ams

    Gardening with friends since
    16 Jun, 2008