Hold Your Horses!

-that plant may well not be dead!

Does some of your garden look like this:



Or worse still, like this:



After a succession of mild winters we are having the second quite harsh winter in a row. As might be expected the gardening press are out in force singing a new song. Forget the old one where we were told we would all be harvesting olives within twenty years. The ditty now is that we should invest in freeze-proof plants.

This is just such nonsense! ‘One swallow does not a summer make’ ran the old adage. We suggest that two harsh winters is not the start of the next mini ice age! But we guess that ‘just carry on as you are’ is not a stop press item in the horticultural media world!

However, ‘just carrying on as you are’ is a good adage for your garden at the moment. We have received quite a few comments from people, both clients and others about plants in their gardens. Within several days of snow-melt people were saying that this or that had died and they were going to chop it down or dig it out. Whoah there!

Very often plants will sprout in the spring from quite dead looking woody material. Some well established plants which sucker may even shoot from under the ground. Last year one client had to be restrained from getting rid of Melianthus major and following our advice rang excitedly later in the spring to say it was shooting. By the end of the summer you could not even tell it had had such a tough time.

The recovery process can, however, take time in some instances. Last winter hit one of our plants quite hard and we really did think it was dead. We left it and left it and in June it began to shoot. Just as well, since it is the rarest plant we have and would be well nigh irreplaceable!

So don’t head for the knackers yard too quickly!

Lesley and Robert