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.

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