A winter of cold

We know that winter is cold and should be cold.  A warm winter is not a good sign and in recent years winters have been warmer and wetter.  Every now and again a cold winter happens, a really cold winter and I think this winter so far as been colder here in the mild middle of the UK than any since 2010.

I have mentioned this to other gardeners and when you mention the winter of 2010 most will have a tale of some beloved plant that they have lost.  The winter of 2010 is referred to in hushed tones, particularly by gardeners who grow tree ferns or other exotic looking plants that need a bit more love than your average plant.  I have mentioned previously that my beloved tree fern did not make it through that winter.  Now you can all tut and say 'it serves me right for wanting to grow tree ferns, but we all have our achilles heels when it comes to plants that we want to grow don't we?

Here is my beloved tree fern, my first tree fern, way back in 2007 when I had just moved into this house.  It was one of the very first plantings I made.  Life has moved on and over the last couple of years I have replaced this tree fern with some new ones, ok  I say some, I mean I now have six.  Six you say, I thought you had five!! There was a small purchase last year, just a little one - there is no room for any more and definitely no more budget, let's not get stuck in the detail.  If Newby makes it through the winter I will make a proper introduction - promise.
Here are the tree ferns in happier, warmer days.  They looked lush, they looked happy and they have all made it through at least one winter (apart from Newby as he is new).  The smaller ones still in pots are currently in the conservatory hoping I remember to water them (so far so good) and the older ones have been stuffed to keep their crowns hopefully safe.
Their fronds have died through the cold cold snaps we have had this winter.  The first pre-Christmas snap took them to -7 and they did shiver.  We have recently had nights at -6 and the days have not reached much above zero.  The ground has been frozen for over a week.  This is a cold time for them.

Will they get through it?  Well I can only hope.  They should be able to cope down to -5 and can get through colder as long as it is not too cold for too long and they are protected.  I belong to a knowledgeable and sometimes entertaining Facebook group of tree fern growers.  I tend to lurk but I have learned alot from them as they share their experience and advice.  Sometimes the advice conflicts but there is usually a common theme running through it.  I just hope that my tree ferns get through winter ok.  I shall be anxiously watching them for signs of hope as Spring appears.

Please keep your fingers crossed for them.

Take care and be kind.

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  1. Oh dear, I hope they will come back. I'll bet they will, and I'll keep my fingers crossed. Hurry spring! :)


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