Gotta Garden

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heart Broken...

By now, a good week plus later, the snow has receded to just the shady areas and the piles where snow was pushed aside. Just this morning, I heard of the chance of snow on New Year's Eve to New Year's Day. No matter. Having made it through 'the big one', the rest will seem small potatoes.

Not that I've really ventured forth, but I have had a bit of a chance to see what the Big Snow has left.


As far as I know, this is the most devastating garden damage. Pretty sad, huh. This was Waterfall, a Japanese Maple. It had the unfortunate luck, as it turns out, to reside in the shady bed right beside the front door. On the one hand, this is a protected area and, as mentioned, shady, so nice for a young tree like this...was. On the other, unbeknownst to me, (or un-thought-of) the snow staying in this area got quite heavy (obviously). When I look at it now, I clearly can see that the piles are rather icy not soft and powdery. Who knew?


This picture shows it from a bit further back. You can see snow receding (but not quick enough). The daphne to the right appears to have only suffered slight damage (it's getting large, so what it lost will not be missed). The gardenia (Chuck Hayes) on the other corner lost only some branches off the back. Being on the corner, the snow quickly receded from it. There's also another gardenia, smallish, pretty much still covered in snow (Kleims). Time will tell whether the icy snow snapped all of its branches. They are flattened over (and covered by snow) the hardy cyclamen right now.

The lesson here...for those of us who get infrequent heavy snows....is that snow turns icy which gets much heavier than snow alone. Therefore, even though it still looks rather snow-like, it will break branches on things unaccustomed to such weight. I shall have to remember this for when we get another one of these...in another...what 10, 20, 30, years from now. This may have even been a record snowfall for us.

I have a tea olive in the backyard (holly leaf osmanthus) which is quite hardy. I remember a year or two ago when snow laid all of its branches flat on the ground. It melted rather quickly and uprighted itself without any intervention on my part. I'm afraid that rather spoiled me. I had the idea these things handled issues without my intervention. Silly me. Oh well.

In case there is any question in your mind, Waterfall is gone. Most Japanese Maples are grafted, as is this one. However, as a gardener, one knows that losses can occur. As a rather seasoned gardener in a small yard, one goes with the flow...what will be, will be. I will ponder whether I want to put another one in there or try something else. I do tend to crowd things, so once it is removed, the hellebores will probably give a great sigh of relief and keep spreading out...

.....with all that snow and cold weather, some animals knew just how to wait it out...

6 comments:

shirl said...

Hi there Katie, so sorry to hear of your garden losses. Acers have fallen foul in my garden in recent years (well a good few ago actually). Although my branches split I tied garden string neatly around above the split and believe it or not it actually grafted back to itself and survived… albeit with an oval window in its main stem!!

At the moment we are frozen out in Scotland and there is a chance I may face casualties here too. Although always disappointed if I do it’s also an excuse to plant something new… so I say now when I can’t see what’s going on under the snow ;-)

Just wanted to stop by and wish you and yours all the best for 2010 :-D

Orlando Realtor said...

I really can appreciate how you feel. Working so hard on our gardens, we all want them to stay at their best, at least forever! I remember how I felt last year when we had a freeze here in Central Florida. I guess we must just remember the weather comes from a force much bigger then all of us.

Stay warm, enjoy your "time off", you will have your garden beautiful again in the spring.

But just to let you know, I did enjoy your snow photos, as an original New York gal.

Kate said...

Looks like kitty has the right idea. Sorry to see this lovely tree wrecked by the storm. I seem to lose a sapling, or two, every winter and it's always devastating to me...

Shady Gardener said...

I'm sorry about your Japanese maple. Hopefully part of it, at least, will make it through this episode. Even we, who are used to such snows, suffer some pretty devastating losses from time-to-time. The snow can get Very heavy. That and the weight of ice can break large limbs and damage trees. (We had that happen last year.) It didn't kill the tree... and sometimes this pruning is good in the long run.

Hopefully your plants will be alright. Snow is often an insulator... and great for adding moisture to the ground. (Does any of this information help???) Probably not.

Let's hope this doesn't happen to you again, and we'll look forward to a great 2010!

Cyndi said...

I can't believe that tree got damage like that, as you said, it is in a protected area :(

I'm wondering what I'll find when I get down there next week.

David had mentioned before the snow hit that he wanted me to help him out a little and point out the plants vs the weeds, somehow I don't think I'm going to be able to do that.

Chat with you soon
Cyndi

Miranda Bell said...

Just found your blog - A very Happy New Year 2010 - snow damage... it's such a shame about your maple - you could try and bind this broken branch back in position and leave it and see if this recovers - it might be worth a try. Love all the photos of your Day Lilies in the previous post too - we didn't espcape the snow in Brittany either - take a look www.jardinmiranda.com - Have a good weekend Miranda

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