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Sunday February 23 , 2020

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Snow - a love hate relationship!

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winterI sat looking out of my window at the snow falling last Saturday afternoon with mixed feelings: excitement that our gardens would change if only for a few days and lift the drab days of winter with beautiful snowy scenes; concern that it would effect our business - snow covered gardens, while beautiful, means we just can't work or earn and every bit of work in the winter for the horticultural trade is very precious.

I remember as a child walking (or trying to) waist deep in snow, having snow drifts against the front door and when you opened the door you ended up with a hall full of snow!  Also, digging out my Mum's car so she could get to work and I could get to school I loved everything that the snow brought.  These days we hardly ever get snow and when we do it seems to melt so fast and we're left with dirty sludge and our gardens and parklands lose that magical feel.  Some people seem to worry about the effects of snow whether that be driving or just getting about.  Not being born in Coventry and coming from a rural village in Cheshire where 10 inches of snow or more were the norm I struggle to comprehend people's fear and how a whole city can literally come to a stand still in 2012 with just a few inches. 

However that said, as a garden owner snow like we have recently seen is something to be wary of, the sheer weight can bend branches on new stems of our precious shrubs, conifers or trees to a point where they just can't spring back to their original shape and you are left with strange shapes in the garden that aren't pleasing to the eye. In December of 2010 we saw a few inches of snow but it had lasting effects with temperatures dipping to -15c in some places which meant that the snow wasn't melting instead it was just sitting on plants for what seemed weeks freezing them to a point that they just couldn't recover.  This really took it's toll on so many plants, I'm sure every gardener lost at least one plant as so many were lost across the country and horticultural companies including ourselves were dealing wtih the effects right up to summer 2011.  As a result some garden centres/nurseries aren't guaranteeing plants that were once classed as hardy and are even stating on the plant labels something on the lines of 'usually hardy'. 

According to our weather forecasters we're in for more snow next week so do try and enjoy it, it's something we just can't control but we can lessen the effects on ourselves, our homes and our gardens.  Remember if you can get into your garden take out a hot mug of tea and then gently knock the snow off the branches of trees, shrubs and conifers.  Check other plants to make sure the snow isn't sitting on the crown or leaves they need a bit of air circulation around them and hopefully they should recover.  Whatever you do don't prune or cut off frost damaged stems or branches just yet as you'll be tempting fate with the next visit from Jack Frost.

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Nicki Jackson is Blue Daisy's garden designer & owner. A former HR consultant Nicki still finds the time to run Blue Daisy, design gardens and planting plans, write a blog, keep our gardening clients happy and offer IIP advice and outplacement support through Blue Daisy Consultancy.

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