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  • Warding off Jack Frost

    29th December 2014Stephanie's BlogStephanie Donaldson

    Some years we get little or no frost in the garden, but this year we have already had a few and there are more to come in the next few days – and no doubt more uncertain weather for the next few months. This is great news for the general health of the garden, but less so for some of the more tender plants. Four years ago we had frost and snow that hung around for some time and the agapanthus in large pots have only just recovered from being frozen – and then covered in snow for several days. This caused the crowns to rot and although I rescued them that spring by cutting away the rotted areas, they have barely flowered in the intervening three years, so I decided that some preventative measures were required.

    snow on agapanthus pots

    Unexpected snow 4 years ago nearly killed large pots of agapanthus

    Zantedeschia suffering in the frosts

    Hard frosts in the past few days have left unprotected plants looking a bit miserable – this Zantedeschia was flat on the ground first thing in the morning and although it has recovered temporarily, it will need a cover before nightfall

    brackenbeing used as frost protection

    Bracken and wire netting protection

    Garden fleece around plant

    Fleece covers

    Whenever possible I prefer to use dry bracken and wire netting as it is unobtrusive, but most of the bracken has yet to die back so I have resorted to using fleece plant covers. They do look decidedly odd and definitely lack aesthetic appeal, but they are quite easy to whip on and off, so once this current cold spell has passed I may remove them. On the other hand they are insurance against any unexpected freezes, so they may stay in place. The great advantage of a walled garden is that it’s less aesthetic moments are hidden from view.

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