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Strange things happen

This week, having told a client to leave their Geraniums in the pots outside, it promptly got down to -7 here in West Wales, -9 at Senni Bridge (no surprises there). Towards the end of the week, I noticed apart from a few damaged leaves, the stem and buds were intact. There were even flowers still on the Ivy-leaved hanging basket. I also noticed my Chilean Guava and a large Isoplexis sceptrum which rooted themselves in the ground were more or less unaffected. The Fuchsias were still flowering in the unheated glasshouses. Maybe the water barrels are doing their job. -7 seems a bit too cold for my liking. It started to feel like that horrible winter when I lost all my Proteas inside and out. Or is it a sort of British Rail thing, you know, the wrong kind of cold? Or even the right type for us gardeners!

Comments (4)

  1. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Interesting Rob. Though very cold, there's been no wind to speak of here in Somerset, and I wonder if that helps. That said, our Geraniums look far from happy after the extreme cold on Wednesday night. Not surprised at that.

  2. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    Well, I think it's more down to how dry it has been perhaps. If you pack away geraniums as you are advised to, some old show folk in Lancishire used to dry their pels completey, wrap them in newspaper, and store them under the bed for the winter. Doing that here in Wales spells certain death for them through powdery mildew and botrytis it is so damp, even in a lot of houses, that is our problem, no matter which method you employ. I have noticed that people who are less fussy still have healthy plants by the following summer, much better I think to just let them get on with it, at least here where the cold isn't normally so fierce. A week ago one of my clients had a wax leaved begonia standing proud in the open border in full flower, I wonder if it is still there when I go tomorrow?
    Even these can come back from the dead here if they are cut down. I noticed the oca I have growing in a tub outside has been cut back, still growing happily under glass, I think those water barrels are working. A Californian white sage I forgot to put inside still looks unaffected, these are normally good down to about -3, maybe it just wasn't quite as cold in our garden, who can tell. Oh, and, my Washington naval orange............. unaffected as yet in the open, too heavy to move anyway, it normally suffers only when the frost comes during March, I suppose things are starting to stir by then and it is not prepared for any frost, aren't we all like that?

  3. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    I agree it's often the late frosts, and not necessarily fierce ones, that tend to do the most damage because they catch new leaves and buds.

  4. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    That lovely wax begonia I mentioned has succomed, so we don't always have it our own way!

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