The recent cold weather and snow has put me in mind of a book I read late last year – Garden Open Tomorrow by Beverley Nichols. The book was written in 1968 which was a particularly bad winter. Nichols starts the book with a chapter exploring what plants have survived the winter.
“At the risk of sounding perverse, I would suggest that this fierce winter, from the gardener’s point of view , did a lot more good than harm, if only because it added to our stock of knowledge, It forced us to revise many accepted notiions about the comparative hardiness of a whole host of plants:”
I was thrilled to see that my Restio (above) is still looking fairly good. I suspect it may be because it is planted in a raised bed and its roots are fairly well protected by the leaves of a Hellebore which is also in the bed. I bought the plant from the Eden Project three summers ago. When I mentioned my acquisition to a gardening acquaintence I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no way a restio would survive here in the Midland. So far the restio is proving her wrong.
Another pleasant relief is to see my Mathisella Green Dreams still looking healthy although a little limp. I have had this plant two years and moved it last year to a more open aspect on the bank from a very sheltered location where it had got out of control. I was reliably informed that the plant would survive in a more open site and was tougher than I had thought. The plant hasn’t exactly performed with the same vigour as it did its previous location but I suspect it is sulking a little. Hopefully if it survives this winter then it will start to thrive in its new location.