Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Sunday 10 January 2010

Snow stops work

Filed under: Greenhouse,Progress — Helen @ 5:49 pm

Wisdom has it that we are having the longest cold snap in Britain (1) for 15 years (2) since 1963 and (3) since 1947. I don’t remember 1995 being particularly snowy, but maybe it was Scotland that was cold, and dragged down the average for the rest of us. Or maybe it was exceptionally cold in March, but not in January. I am pleased to say that I don’t remember 1963 or 1947 at all.

The big event was Tuesday night (5th January 2010). The Met Office forecast was bang on – it started snowing heavily at six o’clock. The next morning I stuck my ruler into the snow on my drive, and the depth was 21.5 cm. We didn’t get much more snow after that, but because it has been so cold, the snow has taken a long time to disappear.

On the morning following the snowfall, I brushed the snow off the greenhouse roof – that’s the second time I’ve had to do that – and also went and beat up all my conifers to get most of the snow off their branches. It was good to see my little baby thuja stand up again once they were free from the weight.

I’m worried that I am going to lose some of my plants. Although they are all very hardy, plants in pots can die because all the soil freezes solid. But there is nothing I can do about this now. And at least none of the plants is a rare variety – they are all easily replaceable. The only one I had trouble obtaining is the Waldsteinia, and I have given bits of that to two other people, and have planted some in a sheltered spot, so I am confident that I can get some back if I need to.

The rose that did a flower bud (still just about visible on the right) must have had a big shock to find one of its stems completely encased in ice:

Rose stem encased in ice

Rose stem encased in ice

And I do think the Pieris looks beautiful with its temporary appendages.

Pieris with icicles

Pieris with icicles