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Cold frame rescue

So the wind wrecked my cold-frames one day, then ice and snow struck the next. :( Has anybody got any advise on the best way to maximise the chances of survival of the remaining plants from these two coldframes, considering they had already been desicated, then frozen. They were baby guava plants and chinese quince mostly, edible fucshias too. Slow thaw or quick thaw, water them, or just bin them?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,298
    Bumping this thread up- not 100% sure but l would think the guava have had it ?
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,840
    Hello Dinah !

    AnniD would be right in assuming the guava may be finished ; the 'edible' Fuchsias (most of them are , but not always palatable) should be OK if stood in a sheltered position or coolish porch or outbuilding until this current cool-spell has passed . I would let them thaw naturally if they get frosted again .
    Your Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia) should also be OK ; mature plants are nearly 100% hardy in the UK .
    Young plants should be allright .
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278
    I had a feeling the guava were worst hit - it's that brown, mushy look. I'll put the Fuchsias in the porch (the porch is full already, but I'll be ruthless with anything else that looks like it's died). Great news about the Pseudocydonia - I had been making a big fuss of them. The cold frames were full of snow. I daren't try to scoop it all out at first, as some to the plants just came out with the snow leaving the pots behind, but I think those were just the dead ones.
    Thanks to you both, I feel somewhat more in control of the situation now.

    The majalica fuchsia berries that grow in all the hedges around here taste awfull - like a sort of bitter, sour, tablet kind of taste! Must be useful for something though... apart from propagating more fuchsias I mean...   :)

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,298
    No worries @Dinah :) l hope the rest of them survive. 
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278
    I just found a tray of stratifying damson seeds sprouting in the bottom of the cold frame under the snow. I wouldn't have seen them if I hadn't been looking after the damage. :) Such things add sparkle to life.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,840
    Apparently the fruits of Fuchsia magellanica (endemic to S.American deciduous woodlands) , are sold in markets in Peru and Bolivia for their delicious flavour !! (?) !
    I've never tried one so can't comment ; maybe the flavour is connected to soil pH and mineral content .
    Dinah , you say the fruits of your local Fuchsias are pretty bland . Do you know the local soil conditions where you live ; this may make a difference .
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278
    edited February 2019
    We have patches of both acidic (peat bog) soil and calciferous rocks, along with some of the most ancient rocks in the isles. The soil is quite sandy though, being close to the sea. It's possible that the bushes that are growing here don't get enough sunshine to ripen properly though, the season being cut short here by the long winter nights after equinox, and we are noted for our long periods of cloud cover in late summer and autumn despite better day length at mid summer. The birds do eat them in autumn though, but they may not be so picky about the taste. I just thought, we are on the ubac rather than the adret side of the valley too, great for looking for the Northern Lights, but the mountains block much of the sunlight on this side, I ought to be tasting the fuchsia berries from the other side of the bern!

    To be honest I didn't try a great number of them because the first few nibbles put me off. I'll taste a few more next autumn - we have an alba growing on the back lawn facing south - that might be a good place to start. Very pritty to look at, and the alba keeps it's leaves longer than the red ones in the hedges. Lovely to see the hedges when they are all in flower. It would be great if they turned out to be good to eat after all!

    I'm getting very interested in legacy hedging at the moment, I'm going to give a lot of mirrabells and wild pear saplings away as soon as the snow clears, maybe other fruits and nuts if the shepherds get interested.

    How did things go in your garden last year Paul?
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278
    edited February 2019
    I'll try to find a picture of the hedges here, must have a few.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    edited February 2019
    Glad it is not as bad as you thought Dinah, not all doom and gloom thought sorry your frames got broken.

    That is interesting about the fuchsia berry, I did not know they were edible.
    So the flowers would be too, wonder if they could be used in ice cubes or salads like borage and nasturtiums blooms.
    Sorry a bit off topic!
    F. magellanica alba is the very pale pinky one?
    Can you grow Eleagnus ebbingei there? They are also another edible berry, I have read about them but not fancied trying them yet.
    Sorry just realized they might not count as in a legacy hedge.
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278
    Thank you for your kind thoughts Rubytoo. I imagine that anything can be eaten in salads and frozen in ice cubes that isn't toxic. Wintergreen berries are quite good, as they taste a lot like sasperilla - if you like sasperilla.
    Yes, F. Magellanica albe is the very pale pinky one. Ours is more pinky because of the acid soil on the lawn I think, but it is so enchanting to look at through the window when in flower. The leaves are lighter green, and seem more delicate for it, but they are proving to be the toughest of the lot.

    Eleagnus ebbingei sound familiar, I forget some of the latin names though as I have a short term memory problem (and dyslexia) but yes, I have blue elder, red elder, black elder and something else that I can't remember yet....
    Legacy hedging refers to our legacy to future generations, so as long as a plant is not going to wipe out any plants all ready growing, or wipe out an area of special scientific interest, it can be planted.

    Part of the idea is to provide fruits for when the oil-based mass production of fruits is no longer viable. Again, it is to give a chance to a diversity of plants to try to adapt to global warming, a greater diversity adding to the chances of survival. Fruit also feeds birds and small mamals of course in the meantime, they tend to prefer what they are used to, but it may be the only fruit that future generations of animals etc. (and of course our descendents) have access to eventually, so shifts in evolutionary fitness for environments may involve using fruits from other parts of the world to broadening our stocks of fruit varieties. Native fruits are still better for areas of scientific interest - obviously. I have heard arguments that all areas are of scientific interest, of course, but I fear that we are going to have to import things, and if you look at most areas now they bare little resemblance to how they would have looked say 200 years ago anyway. Having a wide range of well established fruits in our hedgerows may help us to cover the gap between current fruit farming practices and future adaptive practices.

    In short, yes indeed, Eleagnus ebbingei fits into this catagory.

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