All is not lost.

Freezing gales coming from Russia have changed the garden in just a couple of days from one which was looking positively spring like with all the spring flowers looking bright and perky, into one that has everything lying down and looking pathetic.

Frost and wind damage

Frost and wind damage

We got off very lightly with just a few flurries of snow which didn’t last long at all, other people had far more snow and disruptions to traffic was everywhere again.

Wind damage

The Channel Islands had it very bad with the airports closed due to snow and the Scillies which are off the most SW tip of England had snow covering their islands which very rarely happens. One of the islands, Tresco, has a superb garden with plants from all over the world. They very rarely have frost but this time they have been covered in snow with freezing winds which will have done all sorts of damage in this garden. We will be visiting it sometime soon so will be able to report back on how they are coping.

Wind damage

Poor Crocus Tommasinianus have all been flattened and their stems crushed so no chance of them flowering any more unfortunately.

Frost damage

Worst of all though was finding the frogspawn frozen solid. Hopefully the top layer will have protected those underneath, but such a shame to lose so many little tadpoles. Will let you know if we have any surviving in a few weeks time.

Wind and frost damage

I know the hellebores will stand up straight again when the temperature goes up, so I’m not too worried about them, this happens every time we have a frost and they are fine.

Frost damage

Neither am I worried about all the snowdrops that we have which are all looking pathetic, they too will stand upright again as soon as it warms up.

Indoor daffodils

Daffodils have been cut that were lying on the ground, at least with it freezing, there aren’t any slugs or snails to eat them while they have been prostrate!

Daffodils and hippo

So all was not lost, at least these daffodils can now enjoy warmer temperatures in the kitchen and share the working surface with my hippo which I carved after a visit to Sierra Leone a few years ago, where we saw them on a canoe trip.  Now that the daffs have warmed up, the perfume in the kitchen is amazing! There are lots more narcissus to flower in the next few weeks, the wind is easing already, nowhere near as strong as it was this morning, so hopefully the garden will soon be back to normal.

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29 Responses to All is not lost.

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Pauline, sad to see the aftermath of the storm. Hope things rebound well. Glad you could salvage the daffodils and make a cheery floral companion for your great hippo.

    • Pauline says:

      Susie, the wind is supposed to be easing and the temperature rising, gradually all week, but so far I haven’t noticed any difference!! The daffodils look so cheerful in the kitchen, can’t stay sad for long!!

  2. Hi Pauline, You seem to be having an unpredictable spring with wild mood swings much like the one we experienced here last year. My magnolia opened and turned brown the next day. At least you can enjoy the bouquet of daffodils inside. That carving of the hippo is wonderful by the way. He looks like he is wading across the table top.
    P.S. I will be curious to here about the frozen frog eggs. Humans eggs get frozen all the time, don’t they? I am guessing the frog eggs will hatch, but it is just a guess.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Jennifer, fortunately I have more daffs to come, the white Thalia and white with orange centre Geranium, hopefully these will flower in a few weeks time and be unharmed. I had never thought about human eggs surviving freezing, I will certainly keep an eye on them to see if it applies to frogs as well, I do hope so, thanks for that!!

  3. Anna says:

    Winter’s final sting do you think Pauline? Your poor little daffies. I am sorry to read about the damage in Tresco – a garden that I would dearly love to visit. I ‘m back in East Anglia at the moment at my mum’s house where those easterly winds seem to be especially cruel.

    • Pauline says:

      I certainly hope so Anna. We have only just booked a holiday to the Scillies, I went onto Tresco’s website this morning and yes, they have had snow but damage won’t be known for some time. I remember the storm of 1987 which tore down their shelter belt of pine trees and they lost so many plants, really hope that hasn’t happened this year. You must be feeling really cold in East Anglia, but “they” say it will get a bit warmer each day and the wind will change to the west with rain!

  4. Cathy says:

    Every little bit of sunshine and extra degree of warmth helps things to perk up gain, but what a shame about your crocus. I look forward to hearing news about the frog spawn and the gardens in Tresco – what a lovely visit to look forward to, and I do so hope no permanent damge has been done there, a place I too would like to visit one day.

    • Pauline says:

      The wind seems to have eased already Cathy, so I hope the forecast is right and that the temperatures will rise too. I will keep you up to date re the frogspawn, usually we have hundreds if not thousands of tadpoles wriggling in the shallow end of the pond, I suppose the reason they lay so many eggs is because such a lot get either frosted or eaten by predators. We went to the Scillies just a few years after moving here, but that was in September, this time we are hoping to see the migrant birds and spring wild flowers everywhere. Of course we will visit Tresco to see the amazing garden there and just hope that no lasting damage has been done by the snow of the last few days.

  5. Christina says:

    The wind is the worst kind of weather in my books; whether it is hot or icy the damage can be considerable. Sad about the crocus but at least the daffs look lovely inside, especially next to your wonderful Hippo, you are a very clever lady. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Thank goodness Christina, the wind has dropped to almost nothing today, what a difference it makes, it feels so much warmer! Lots more different daffs to come, so it shouldn’t be too long before we have lots of flowers again. Glad you like the hippo, the working surface is more green than in the photo and he looks as if he is in his river, or I think so anyway, we have our breakfast with him each morning!

  6. Lyn says:

    Oh dear, just when spring seemed to be finally there! You have all had a tough time this winter, it’s good that gardeners are resilient people. Your daffodils look lovely though, and that hippo is gorgeous.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Lynn, you’re very kind. We are still having hard frosts overnight but it is sunny today with no wind, thank goodness. I believe by tomorrow we will be back to rain once more, so back to normal! Plants as well as gardeners have to be resilient, they have to take whatever is thrown at them, just as well that they can cope!

  7. debsgarden says:

    So sorry about the little tadpoles! It seems every year we have spring blooms, then a hard freeze zaps them. Somehow the garden recovers, though I hate when my magnolia blooms turn brown before they have had a chance to open! We had a hard freeze last night. I haven’t been out in the garden yet to inspect – I hope it warms up this afternoon!

    • Pauline says:

      The pond is still frozen Deb, but we will wait and see what happens, it is due to get warmer tonight and rain once more. It is such a shame when the early flowers of the magnolia and camellias turn brown, which they do even when not planted in the morning sunlight. Hope you don’t have any damage to your plants after your frost last night!

  8. Goodness you are talented, I love your hippo! We got off lightly here, hellebores bowed down by the cold blast but the crocuses are all still standing, which if it isn’t raining tomorrow I will be able to prove for GBBD!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Janet, the weather is so much better now, actually sunny today but rain is coming tonight. The worst though was the wind, I can’t remember it ever being so bad before, thank goodness it has now stopped. Are your hellebores standing upright now that the weather has eased, I hope so?

  9. Helen says:

    At least we don’t get much wind here in Switzerland, but snow, more snow. I know the garden will recover, the birds are not too impressed, though. We saw our first blackcap of the year yesterday, I hope he survives. I am very impressed by your hippo, he looks amazing. But I do find them quite scary when just sitting in a flimsy canoe.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Helen, your plants are staying nice and warm under their duvet of snow! Do you feed your birds in the winter? Among all the birds that come for their breakfast is a blackcap, but that is usually in the summer, I’m sure your’s will be ok.
      When we went on our canoe trip to see the hippos, we found a few Mum’s and their babies and the big male standing guard in the river. He dived a few times and came up nearer each time, eventually we decided he was getting too close and we beat a hasty retreat!!

  10. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline, I hope you are back to normal by now. Winter has hit hard in the north of Europe, hasn’t it? I guess I have the Alps to thank to stop that weather to come here too!
    But I’m sure your garden will recover very soon. I’m sorry for those tadpoles, you sure they won’t survive frost?
    PS: the hippo is very pretty!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, we’re back to rain Alberto! Much warmer now that the wind has dropped and gone round to the west and all the plants are saying, thank goodness! More narcissus still to flower and I have found some crocus that escaped being flattened, so hopefully in another week the garden should look a lot better. I’m not sure about the tadpoles, in previous years if they have been frosted, then they have died, but we will keep fingers crossed and hope for the best.
      Pretty? no,no,no hippos aren’t pretty!! Good to have you back Alberto!

  11. The hope of every gardener is that spring will not be interrupted by another blast of winter. The amazing thing is that every spring is a little different, almost as if each spring has it’s own special signature, giving a unique twist. Most of the time that turns out to be just what we wanted.

    • Pauline says:

      Not this time Charlie, I’m sure we could all have done without it! Gardens in this country are full of flowers by March, a lot open to the public to raise money for charity, the last thing that we needed was the wind coming from Russia, burning and flattening everything!

  12. My hellebores spend every spring lying down and standing up repeatedly and it doesn’t seem to faze them. I always find it amazing though. If temperatures are going to get low, it is much better if there is snow on the ground to protect that plants so Tresco might be OK. Low temperatures without snow is the kiss of death around here.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Carolyn, hellebores and snowdrops can cope with flucturating temperatures, they have to with winters here! The problem with Tresco is that their plants come from Australia, South Africa, S. America and Mediterranean climates, the whole island is like a huge conservatory without a roof! Last time they had problems and their plants died in the snow, they were soon replaced with plants from Botanical Gardens from around the world, gardeners the world over are so generous with their plants.

  13. Alycia says:

    I’m in utah an we had some high winds which beat up my tulips. they were laying slupped and sad so I just gently taped them up and together with a little floral tape and un tangled them. last year I didn’t do this and tbey perked up a bit but not a whole lot. so hopefully this helps them recover and stand upright 🙂 we will see 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Alycia, lovely to hear from you and what a good idea, I would never have thought of that,must remember if it ever happens again! Thanks for visiting!

      • Alycia says:

        I thought it would be sort of like winterizing your bushes or trees, but wind-proofing tulips. I had to re enforce soil a bit as well. I really don’t like our unpredictable weather.

        • Pauline says:

          The weather here Alycia is not what it should be at all, the garden is a good month behind last year. No tulips in flower yet, just the leaves showing at the moment, we need some warmth to get them growing instead of this freezing wind from the east! Thanks for coming back.

          • Alycia says:

            Mine aren’t in bloom yet I can see a few small blooms! I just got some beautiful poppys to plant called “drama queen”,gorgeous look them up, but its still too cold for the seeds to germinate.

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