Friday, 22 January 2016

A frost 'crippled' hellebore.
The same Hellebore during milder conditions.
Has anything been damaged?...... A commonly asked question when a mild spell is followed by a cold snap. The worry is that growth has been prematurely advanced and could be 'caught out' by hard conditions. This time of year I don't worry as Snowdrops and Hellebores are hard as nails and their growth can take it; although it never ceases to amaze me how they are painfully bent by the frost and then soon resume their composure when the temperature rises. Late March, through April and into May is a problem though; very mild spring spells that are followed by a 'wholloper' frost can be disastrous due to blossoms and leaves on over excited shrubs being seared by 'old jack'. Things like Katsura Trees (Cercidiphyllum), Japanese Maples and some Hydrangeas e.g. H. aspera can take heavy hits as well as Magnolia x soulangiana having it's glorious blossoms being reduced to soggy brown rags.
N.B. One plant that did take a hit was the Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica), with it's tiny crimson fingered flowers, all brown. I was admiring a magnificent specimen at Wisley last week and I wonder how that has faired?
Galanthus 'Atkinsii', a favourite Snowdrop that is spread throughout the corner of the garden occupied by the Laburnum walk.

Pale yellow Hellebore.
Galanthus 'Rodmarton' a statuesque Snowdrop.

No comments:

Post a Comment