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English garden and -25 temperatures!

We have an unusually cold winter in canada: with persistent temperatures in the -25 degrees range! There is also lots of snow. I N wondering if I should leave the shrubs alone or try to remove the snow. Most are buried in snow! 

Thanks for any advise. 

Posts

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,188

    I don't know the answer to your question to honest. It rather cold -25C  a temperature rarely seen in most of the UK. It depends on what shrubs / plants you are on about, some will be harder than others.

    The snow will help insulate the plants / shrubs from the cold temperatures, but could also damage them with the weight of the snow. -25C I would of thought is in the danger zone for a lot of plants, so I probably leave the snow and prune out damaged branches in spring and hope everything comes back. 

    Some other forum members from continental Europe who have more serve winter's than most of us in the UK should be able to advise you better. 

  • Thank you! 

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,721

    It's better to leave the snow while temps are that low - as Perki says, it provides some insulation. But when you begin to see a thaw, I'd get out and help things along to reduce the weight on the branches especially of larger spreading shrubs. Leave the snow on the ground underneath as long as possible though - again, it's helping reduce the risk of freezing

    Then it's a matter of seeing what has survived - you'll probably loose a few image. But some careful pruning will revive some others. Take note of what has coped better and use that as your guide when thinking about replacements for any that are dead. 

    We had minus 20C here a few years ago when my garden was still in it's infancy and a lot of the plants were too young to cope. I lost some shrubs but many came through a bit bent and brown but a year later were thriving again. image

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,787

    -25C was not that unusual in my Belgian garden but was rarely accompanied by insulating snow.  It can be devastating to many plants when it's that cold but you'd be surprised how many cope when they have a blanket.

    As advised above, leave the snow to act as a blanket.  Just clear paths so you can get about safely but stay off beds and lawns.   When the thaw does come, you may need to remove and dead or broken branches and stems but let the snow thaw naturally.  Only if you see branches bending under its weight should you shake it free.

    In the UK, heavy snows can come at just below zero so stems and branches are much softer and more pliable than they would be in Canada and the weight of snow can bend branches which then look unsightly and don't bounce back.  

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,721
    Obelixx says:

    In the UK, heavy snows can come at just below zero so stems and branches are much softer and more pliable than they would be in Canada and the weight of snow can bend branches which then look unsightly and don't bounce back.  

    See original post

    Fair point image

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,515

    I don't understand why you mention "English garden " in your post title since you say you are based in Canada. image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,721

    Probably refers to a style rather than geographic location, Papi Jo? Like 'cottage gardens' which are frequently found some distance from the nearest cottage

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    I'd knock the snow off of Evergreens including hedges if you have them, as they will often create brown patches/lose their shape with the snow. The rest should be fine 

    Last edited: 03 January 2018 18:09:13

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,787

    I lost nearly all my evergreens - conifers, viburnums, mahonia, eleagnus, choisya, and skimmias - in a snowless -32C night followed by a week of -25C.  I'd keep the insulating snow on them.  Live plants can be re-pruned.  dead ones just have to be dug up.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,441
    raisingirl says:

    Probably refers to a style rather than geographic location, Papi Jo? Like 'cottage gardens' which are frequently found some distance from the nearest cottage

    See original post

     Like "home-made" things sold in restaurants and cafes.  I always wonder if it's made in the Chef's home and brought to work?

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