My plans for today were thwarted again by the rain so no way I was going to get anything done at the allotment. Instead I ‘pottered’ in the garden basing myself near the greenhouse so I could dive in when the heavens opened. This meant I was on the patio and I couldn’t avoid the pots of squished plants any more.
Sadly a second harsh winter in a row has put paid to my Furcraea. I can’t remember where I bought this but I feel it may have been at the Eden Project when we went not long after it had opened. I am sure I have had since about 2001. To start with when the plant was small I would bring it in each winter and keep it in the enclosed porch at our old house. The plant got bigger and bigger – not growing taller but getting thicker and wider. It got to a point a few years back where it was so big I struggled to move it and so I risked it outside over winter. It was fine until last year when some of the outer leaves were damaged by the snow that covered it but it did seem to perk up. Well this winter has put paid to it and my thought to move it indoors probably came a bit too late. As you can see it has turned to mush and the smell is awful. It took two of us about a quarter of an hour to man handle it out of its pot.
As you can see my Phormium is not looking too good either. This was planted up in the corner border and was doing quiet well. It didn’t seem to be affected too much by the snow but this was quickly followed by some very cold strong winds which flattened the plant. When I looked at it closely the leaves were bent to the point of being broken. I have cut the plant back and as I’m not sure if it will recover and I have another plan for the border I potted it up. You can see the transformation if you look at the photo belowI have also lost a small Pittosporum and my Ceanothus is looking a little sorry for itself. My Eucomis plants have all rotted away even though the pots were placed on their side and off the ground.
The other plant I am really concerned about and am willing to be OK was a purchase last summer from Swine Meadow Nursery. I love my Ozothamnus and planted it up in a large pot by the front door. When I checked on its tenderness it seemed to be similar to Grevillia and mine is flourishing in the front garden so I thought it would be OK. But as you can see it is looking wane and limp! Fingers crossed. Even my Rosemary has taken a battering and the ends of the stems are all burnt.
On the other side of the front door is a dwarf Bamboo. I have no idea which one it is as I have had it some time but again it has taken a battering this winter and I do believe it was the extreme cold wind we had at one point. However, I think it will be OK as you can just see some signs of fresh growth.
I have few tender plants left now and I have come to the conclusion that I will probably not bother with them in the future. There is firstly the issue of space and somewhere to store them over the winter and the bother of digging them up and moving them which isn’t easy when they get big. Or you leave them in the ground and worry about the plants. I feel myself moving more towards a gentler way of gardening, maybe slow gardening where less effort is made for a good result. Plus I don’t think the exotics really appeal to me. I think I have bought some because they have been promoted by media and also because I see other bloggers’ fab gardens. But I find them hard to place in the garden and I truly believe that you either go exotic or you don’t, there isn’t a half way house. My taste has always been I suppose old-fashioned: I like herbaceous perennials and I am particularly enthralled by grasses – it just feels right and instinctive which the more broad-leaved exotics never did.
So I am sort of thanking Mother Nature for pushing me in the direction which is better for me.