The Beast from the East has hit and has been worse than expected in some areas of Britain. Here’s my view of what to do for your garden.
- Cover any open flowers especially on primroses, Camellias and early Rhododendrons with fleece. The fleece bags are best on established plants. Daffodils, Crocus and Snowdrops will be fine.
- Stuff extra fleece into fleece bags already protecting ‘Mediterranean’ plants such as palms, and tree ferns.
- Move smaller planted pots of tender evergreens nearer to the house or into a cold greenhouse or conservatory until it’s passed.
- Don’t prune more tender evergreens until April, then any winter damage can be trimmed off then. This is a good idea every winter.
- Knock heavy snow off evergreen shrubs and conifer (if it’s that bad).
Late cold snaps can cause a lot a of damage to tender evergreens and plants starting into growth after winter. Fortunately this winter (2017/2018) has been colder than recent winters and at this point, 26th Feb. many plants have stayed dormant so they are less likely to be severely damaged.
Then hopefully in a couple of weeks spring will burst into life and the ”beast’ will have been a figment of some newspapers fantasies.
Don’t forget the birds
Make sure there is fresh water available for birds to drink from. A bird bath or a plant saucer with water will provide much needed re-hydration, but you will need to keep replacing it as it freezes.
Have plenty of high energy food in your feeders, feeding stations and bird tables. The small birds suffer the most. they loose heat rapidly and need foods like suet, seeds and dried insects every day.