Took a walk through my garden today.........uggghhhh!

bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)March 21, 2014

What a winter! So many things appear to be trashed. I will wait to see what comes back, IF we ever get spring! Things that should not have had any problems are toast! My yellow crocuses have bloomed, and some tulips have very healthy and normal looking foliage about three to four inches tall. No signs of daffodils, except for the ones that put up new foliage in autumn. Three ( out of 36) hyacinths have put up foliage.

As for the more tender perennials, the Lithodora is history, as is at least one Rosemary. The "Arp" looks like it has a chance. The camellia plants seem OK, but it remains to be seen if the buds are OK. They look OK, for now. Needless to say, the Windmill palm looks dead. The Gardenia "Frostproof" is about half dead, but will come back. Hard to say about some other things. Time will tell. My winter jasmine is fine, but not one flower has opened this season, and that ALWAYS has at least a few open now and then during mild spells all winter. My other jasmine (J. officinale) which is more than eight years old, I think is dead. Even my twenty-five-year-old climbing rose "Altissimo" looks like it may be history, and that has seen some cold weather in the past!

This past winter has discouraged me greatly. I will plant only a few annuals, a tomato or two and some basil this year.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am sorry to hear that, Bill. Did you not have much snow cover this winter? If you had good snow cover, you may be surprised at what comes back to life from the roots. That may not help plants like the windmill palm, but will help the rose and and may help the less 'frostproof' shrubs. We still have about a foot of icy snow, so I have no idea how things survived the winter, though some of my rhododendron leaves at the top of plants are looking a bit scorched. I do know that plants that are pushing my zone sometimes surprise me (both positively and negatively.)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I'm not worried about the cold. We have been through much worse, and that taught me the downsides of anything like zone pushing. This year's problem has been deer. Because of the snow cover, they have eaten anything they can get near. The iris have been pulled up, the hellebores eaten, the pachysandra nibbled - the list goes on. One day, a fence is in the future. However, the garden flows into the backyard, which flows into the side yard, and fencing in an acre isn't a trivial undertaking. If I could easily just do the garden, that would be one thing.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

It's way too early to give up on your established plants, Bill! This has been a rotten winter and most sensible plants are hunkered down waiting for winter to go away. They're not about to put up any growth without a good indication that spring is coming.

I remember reading somewhere that Bill Cullina said never give up on a plant until July (hopefully winter will be over by July....).

Particularly when you're dealing with plants outside of their usual comfort zone - they need time to recover from the shock of a nasty winter like we've had. You've been very good about giving your garden time to grow up; this year it's just going to need even more time.

Don't despair!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I wandered around the yard today too. I'm not discouraged yet. I still think it's too early to tell. I did see some things that encouraged me. Daffodil foliage in places where it has been established for awhile is starting to come up. One area where I planted daffodils last fall is showing tips of foliage but not others yet. I can't remember if I put in early or late bulbs there. No sign of 25 Leucojum that I planted in the fall and only one crocus so far. I still have another 9 days before I could consider them actually later than other years.

I did see foliage at the base of chrysanthemums and new growth on sedums, buds on lilacs, and on Honeysuckle vines. Can't tell yet about Clematis or the roses. The Viburnums all look like they should. But this is that time of year that everything looks it's worse, before new growth starts showing and there's a lot of clean up.

Bottom line, I'm not worried. I will have a lot of work to do this year, but it's like that every year for one reason or another. I always have grand plans and schemes and this year is no different than any other in that regard.

I decided to sow seed under lights this year. But I wasn't able to start them as early as I intended to. I just started sowing yesterday, so I'm off to a late start, but it really looks like we will have a late spring. DH suggests we may not have a spring, that it will go right from winter to summer. That will really disappoint me if that's the case, but I guess I wouldn't be surprised.

I guess I think that we all have to become as flexible as possible because every year it seems the weather surprises us more and more. And it's not just us in the north, where we are getting cold and snow. I would hate to have moved south to get away from this weather only to get hit with it down there as they have in Washington D.C., Georgia, even Florida this winter. And gardeners in the plains states and in the West are still dealing with record droughts. Even in England this spring, they had record flooding. So we're all in the same boat.

I think we have to adjust and find a way to use whatever weather we get for growing something in the garden that we love. I'm looking forward to buying a few annual geraniums this year for a pot, based on photos of all of your geraniums last year! I love the spring season, but, I'm trying to have something for every season so I have something to look forward to, if one season is a dud. I'm looking forward to spring vegetablesâ¦peas and lettuces and greens, broccoli and bok choy. But if it gets hot too early, then I've got peppers, tomatoes and squash to get into the ground earlier than usual. And there's always containers of annuals. And plant shopping!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Took a walk around today. Not much is opening... no swelling buds yet.

I think my two Lithodora are goners but will wait and see. They are in the front garden near the road where there were huge snow piles from the plows and possibly salt thrown on them.

My Hellebores are still smashed down. So far it's been too cold to go out and trim them back or uncover them. I'm sure they'll return... pretty tough plants.

The Hellebores 'Cinnamon Snow' that I picked up at Trader Joe's this winter won't get into the ground until April.... we're expecting a possible snow storm mid-week and dropping temperatures. So fingers crossed for this little guy.

I'm most worried about the clematis planted around the garden shed. This is down by the river and we get tremendous winds there. Five of them are type 2 ... one is a type 1. The leftover vines flopped around all winter so we'll see.

The sedum I put in last summer looks great but my new lavender is crispy. Ah well.... nothing to be done about that but wait and see. The thing I dislike most with a late warming period is that all the maintenance jobs I prefer to do in the cooler parts of spring won't get done this year until late Spring. My hope is to beat the May flies.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 1:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Molie - re: the clematis based on my experience . . . The type one may bloom sparsely if at all if the vines are damaged, but it will return for the following spring. If broken vines are a usual winter problem, replant it in a more sheltered spot. The type twos will be just fine, but will bloom later only on new growth if the upper vines are killed. My type twos are killed to snow line every year, but bloom well at the end of May.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 2:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spedigrees z4VT

Ah, a walk around my yard? I walk the dogs around the circular path that the hubby made with the snowblower, and yesterday ventured out on cross country skis for a trek around the perennial beds. All white, not a speck of bare ground or dead grass anywhere. Garden inspections will have to wait, and the weatherman says more snow is expected mid-week.

I do see the tips of little evergreen trees peeking up from their snow blanket, and I'm grateful they have this layer of protection. Spring seems a long ways off.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Take heart, Bill. One spring, my first crape myrtle, which was about 16 feet tall, looked like a goner. It was July 4th when I finally got out there with a saw to remove it, and I found tiny leaves emerging all along one of the major branches.

My winter jasmine is also without flowers this spring, so far, but the buds appear to be holding on, so I'm guessing that in a week or two it will be covered in bright yellow blooms! I can't wait!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 8:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks for the clematis advice, nhbabs. I wish my yard were large enough so that I could find another spot. We have just 1/3 of an acre.... not good when I want to tuck in another plant but very good when it comes to garden chores.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

What a relief, Bill, to know (selfishly) that it's not just me. My lithodora may be live roots somewhere in the bed, but not visible yet. The fig is an 8-inch stick. The gardenia looks dead but it may be too early to tell.

And my gunnera manicata is sleeping (I hope) under a pile of hay.

What shows signs of life: the usual toughies: honeysuckle, bittersweet, walking onions. Sigh.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I suppose time will tell. I won't give up until July (assuming we have summer by then!). If the Windmill palm comes back, I'll regain some faith. Or maybe it's time to move to a more forgiving climate.............

Here's what it looked like last September. Healthy and happy. I'll go out and take a photo later and try to post it today.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:11AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hummingbird Spring Migration 2015
I've been checking regularly and finally today there...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Any Senior Housing with Gardening Amenity?
Mom will not give up her house unless she can continue...
Clematis favorites for Jane
A few weeks ago Jane asked about Clematis on one of...
How do I add a zone to my user name?
I've been trying to edit my profile in "Your Houzz"...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
No spray cherry, apple, and pear tree recommendations?
I have larger area of my yard, where at some point...
Sponsored Products
Amaryllis 24-piece Traditional Polyester Room in a Bag with Sheet Set
Sasha Silver Two-Light Outdoor Wall Mount Fixture
$178.00 | Bellacor
Victoria Ghost Chair by Kartell
$370.00 | Lumens
Dollhouse Rug
$39.99 | zulily
Matégot Dedal Bookshelf - Red - Gubi
$349.00 | HORNE
Tiffany Style Table Lamp with Reindeer Sculpture Base
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™