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Only a year late ...


I was totally taken by surprise by the snow in 2010 – after all, I’d only had a garden for less than six months, and it was some hours after first looking out of the window and thinking “Ooh, innit pretty!” that I thought, “Hang on, I’ve got plants out there now!”

I scraped as much snow as I could off the bigger plants – some of which I’d only bought a couple of weeks previously. They were too big to put into the greenhouse, even if I hadn’t had it half-full already – I didn’t have fleece or anything that would keep them warm, if the snow hadn’t killed them already. But I wanted to do something to keep further snow off them, if not to insulate them from the cold.

Eventually I came up with a sort of solution: I had several “vacuum bags”, sold for people going on holidays – put the clothes in, roll them to get the air out, then seal them; makes a smaller bundle in the suitcase. I had stacks of these, trying to minimise bulk for my house-move.

I found some and managed to get them over the plants. I didn’t want to seal them, the plants would need air, but the bags kept blowing off in the wind, so eventually I tilted the bags down at one end and put the pot on the edge to hold it down.

One plant was too big for the bags, so I got my spare double blanket out of the zipped bag that it had come on and put that over that plant; I zipped it just enough to hold it on.

They at least kept the snow off the plants. It was too late for at least two of them – same variety, different sizes, the ones I’d bought just a week or so before. They looked very sorry for themselves and didn’t last long.

I didn’t bother trying to excavate the troughs; they had pansies, which must be inured to the cold; if they weren’t there wasn’t much I could do, as I’d planted them densely and didn’t want to damage them while trying to help them. They survived until squirreled to death a few months ago.

Even after doing all that, I totally forgot that I had a fountain out there as well – well, it’d not run for a few months (this place only gets an hour of direct sunlight daily, if we’ve very lucky, and it won’t work with anything less). I used warm water and got the ice out, then stacked the fountain somewhere to keep it out of the way.

That round thing in the corner is a glass carboy, bought with the intention of trying a bottle garden, but … I’d turned it upside down so that no insects or small animals could fall in, cos they’d not be able to get out again. (I could have added that to my “anyone want a fountain” blog – and still could!)

All the smaller plants were already in the greenhouse, thankfully; most of them survived.

At least this year I’ve already fleeced the end shed and I have two packs of fleece spare, so if need be, I can drape them over and around the plants. Well, some of them, anyway – looking at these pics a year on, I can’t believe how many plants I’ve got now!

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Hi Fran...
You have very innovative ideas ...
well done, and Merry Christmas :o)

24 Dec, 2011


thanks, Terratoonie - it was an occasion for the mother of invention to step in!

Season's Greetings to you and yours

24 Dec, 2011


All the best, Fran, for 2012. :o) x

24 Dec, 2011


You did well in protecting your plants, Fran! How did they do once the growing season got under way again?

We never get much snow on our balcony nor rain usually for that matter, depends on the direction of the wind, if it comes from the SW, as it has been doing a lot during this December, then it tends to enter more.

25 Dec, 2011


The conifers seem to have survived - well, most of them; a couple of the really small ones didn't. Some of the other plants didn't survive, either - probably down to me forgetting to water them enough. Sigh, I seem to work on the "invisible lunatic" prinicple - out of sight is out of mind.

I've not checked out any recent weather forecasts; I should, to at least give me some warning about battening down such hatches as remain open.

26 Dec, 2011

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