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A cold, snowy start to March


By balcony


A cold, snowy start to March

What a week it was starting on the last day of February & lasting most of the first week of March. Although we got off rather lightly compared to some we still had a lot of snow, ice & a terribly cold wind from the East, all the way from Siberia!

My wife & I were virtual prisoners in our own home for 3 or 4 days! We dared not go out because of the wind & snow & our food supplies were practically out by Monday 5th March! To top it all the supermarkets wouldn’t deliver either! My wife tried to do some shopping online (March 1st) but they weren’t taking orders. At last were were able to go shopping & restock some of the things we had become very short of. We had only food for just one more day so the thaw & rise in temps came just at the right time!

I took some photos of the balcony & the street where we live but not being able to get out I haven’t been able to get any more photos of the town here.

Snow on Mayfield Road seen from the balcony:

Seagulls & snow seen from the side of Suffolk House:

I got a great 40 seconds of video of these gulls wheeling around in the air & even coming down to pick up some bread from the grass at the back of the building! Shame I can’t put it on here!

Snow covering plants & Tulips on the balcony:

Snow covering plants in trough on the balcony:

Snow on troughs on balcony floor:

Enough of snowy pictures, lets see some plants!

I have a couple of Marguerite standards on the balcony which my friend, Dick, from church gave me last summer. I feared they would die with such low temps as we had even though I had I wrapped them up with some thick plastic & put them on the balcony table behind the mini-greenhouse. I even put some fleece over the plants themselves inside the plastic. It seems the 3 measures saved them as when I took it all off of them on Sunday, (4th) they seemed to be alive still!

Marguerite standard on balcony table still flowering:

That is the most sheltered corner on the balcony & it’s where I normally keep any plants that might not resist the frosts of winter.

I also have some Fuchsia standards from Dick. Two of them fit inside the mini-green house but there was no room for the third one. It has had to take its luck on the balcony floor. Later though I did put it with the Marguerite standards on the table behind the mini-greenhouse. I scratched a tiny bit of bark off of a thickish stem & it seemed to be green underneath so perhaps it will survive after all! The two Fuchsias in the greenhouse should have no problem with surviving, even though one may look completely dead. With them there are a couple of Geraniums & a few other more delicate plants.

Fuchsia standards in mini-greenhouse on balcony table:

Fuchsias in tub partly under table on balcony:

Since taking this photo the plants have lost practically all their leaves & one plant in the front right hand corner may not make it through. A few days ago I scratched off a little bark on a branch & it looked green still – so there’s hope yet!

These are my own plants from previous years. I put 4 of my own Fuchsia cutting that rooted at the end of 2016 in this tub last year & the ‘Lady Boothby’ cutting in the centre which has astounded me by growing over 2m (6ft) in just one season!

Marguerite cutting rooted in mini greenhouse on balcony table:

The rooted cutting of a Marguerite sharing their accommodation has also survived!

Marguerite cuttings just taken:

I took a few cutting of the Marguerites before the “Beast from the East” arrived even though it’s not the right time of year.

I thought they may root but even if they don’t the ones outside on the balcony will probably be killed by the extreme cold. So I’ve nothing to lose. The cuttings indoors seem to be alright so I may end up with more plants than I bargained on! But that doesn’t matter as they flower so well all summer!

Today (7th) I had to remove a plant of Tradescantia fluminensis that couldn’t survive the -6C we had on March 1st in a tub on the balcony. In its place I broke up & sprinkled the contents of a seedhead from the Marguerites on the surface of the soil. Now to await their germination – if there were any seeds in it & if they can survive the cold from the next few weeks.

I will let you know if they germinate.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Rivers in Cuenca, Spain

Next post: Crocuses galore!



You need to get some fleece before next winter, a long length can be doubled/ trippled up to form an excellent 'blanket.'
I have discovered why Auriculas are so popular, they hate cold winter rains, otherwise not bothered by Siberia or any
other weather.

Also when shopping I always buy 5 of everything thats small or inexpensive, lovely to have a store cupboard !
Son fetched me 8 pints of milk, I buy the powdered kind for homemade soups. I have 3 small freezers a good investment. Engie the best for economic fuel costs.

8 Mar, 2018


I find 2 dessertspoonfuls of mashed Baked Beans on one slice of Ryvita is helping my weight loss programme.
I save 2 spoonfuls in 6 empty tablet containers in the freezer.

One tin of Beans provides me with 7 breakfasts !

8 Mar, 2018


more snow for us today. my daughter in leeds says they have a couple of inches.

and it was so warm yesterday too.

8 Mar, 2018


I hope your plants will recover. Your little cuttings look fine.
Are you going to leave the fleece on your plants for now ? I hope you don't get any more snow.

8 Mar, 2018


Thanks for your comments everyone. ??

I did put some fleece over the Marguerites, Diane, as I say in my blog above.

Sorry to hear you have more snow today, SB. Here we have had a rain shower this morning but we have a strong cold westerly wind making it feel colder still.

Thanks, Hywel. ? No, I took it off on Sunday but have no plans to put it back on for the time being.

8 Mar, 2018


I hope you don't get any more severe frosts. but you can easily cover them again if you seed to.

8 Mar, 2018


Fingers crossed for those fuchsias! Hardy garden ones usually recover well from the base even when the tops are quite dead so we live in hope.

8 Mar, 2018


I still worry when I take the fleece off because its warm in the greenhouse in the afternoons, then the weather forecast is for an overnight frost, and I have been watching Eggheads (best score this year 13 correct) and forgot to go out and put it back on. The plants dont seem to mind
anyway. (Best score last year 17.)

9 Mar, 2018


I've left my plants exposed as well, while frost isn't forecast otherwise I cover them with the plastic sheeting.

Fortunately we are forecast a very mild weekend with temps in some places getting as high as 15C! This will make it the warmest weekend of the year so far!

What a difference a week makes, last Friday we couldn't go out for the snow, ice & terribly cold northeast wind, this week end the winds are warmer & coming from the southwest - bring heavy rain to places!

9 Mar, 2018


8.30 p.m. I just put the C/H off.
Left some sown seeds in the cold greenhouse, so they will be ok.

10 Mar, 2018


We've had rain, back to normal now. I can cope with rain :)

11 Mar, 2018


The warm weekend has ended bringing us quite a bit of rain as well. It was remarkably warm - we managed to get to the dizzying heights of 13C!

My Crocuses loved it & I had the best display so far this year! I have taken many photos of them open - even the first of the Mini-Daffs have opened! There are still lots & lots more to come yet.

The pots & troughs were over planted with Pansies. I didn't know it when I bought them but they a ruffled variety, I've never grown these before & they are rather more unusual than the flat ones I'm used to. Nevertheless I find them very attractive! Some even have lots of fine black lines as well.

12 Mar, 2018


Oops I'd missed this one Balcony, a great read though and I can see I was right in what I said about your plants and bulbs, all those crocus are lovely, here I am reading about our last bad icy weather and now we're preparing our protection ready for more, my old mum always said if snow hangs around its awaiting the next lot, fingers xx she wasn't right, might be gone from my garden but its still hanging around in the fields.....

14 Mar, 2018


Don't worry, Lincslass, we all get behind from time to time!

Glad you like the Crocuses as they are such a welcome sight at the end of winter & beginning of spring! ?

We lost all our snow on Monday 5th March! Sorry to hear it's hanging on around where you live. Unfortunately it would seem your mum was right as we are forecast snow all down the eastern side of the country & even down as far as the south-east, the south & south-west!

Fortunately as well it seems it won't be more than a couple of days or 3 & the wind won't be as strong or quite as cold!

Just in case, & so that we don't get caught out like a fortnight ago, we did a week's shopping online today & it was brought this evening. Last time my wife tried to do some shopping online but the stores weren't taking orders!

15 Mar, 2018

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