Hi. My Garrya seems to be dyping. I had new healthy leaf growth up to last week, now all the leaves have shrivelled up and turned brow. The plant has been in this garden for at least 20 years, do they have a life spa. Any advice would be welcome.
They are sensitive souls, these. If you have strong winds and / or driving rain that may have caused damage. See how it goes for a while. They do sometimes just die without warning but it may well just be feeling a bit low.
You mentioned new leaf growth. It could be possible that your shrub had a period of mild weather, put on a lot of new growth, then followed by harsh cold wind or a sudden dip in temperatures. Sometimes, this is enough to make it suffer temporarily. The weather so far has been cool spring followed by extreme heat and dry early summer, then below averages in late summer with excess wet weather. On evergreen shrubs, leaves can go brown and shrivel.
I don't regard them as short life span shrubs. In fact, quite tough considering I have seen some grown in quite exposed areas. If you see no sign of leaf spot, damage to bark or branches, just leave it alone. Just concentrate on making sure the base of the shrub is heavily mulched to give it the best chance of recovering.
Mike ; you are 100% correct with your comments on the UK climate .
Rather than complain , we should be grateful for our cool temperate maritime climate ; frequent rainfall , rarely any damaging extremes , enables us to cultivate some of the most envied and beautiful gardens in the world .
Climatic forecasters are predicting expansion of the deserts , dry regions getting hotter and drier , and cooler regions predominantly influenced by 'westerlies' (as we are) , becoming wetter . The warmer the planet gets the more water will evaporate from the oceans , leading to some parts getting much more cloudier summers ; (and for my part) , I'll be glad on that score .
Rather than the drab looking Garrya elliptica ; if you've a S or SW facing sheltered position or wall , try Itea ilicifolia .
I grew one for many years in such a position , absolutely stunning when in flower !