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Why was this winter so harsh?

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  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,112
    Not particularly bad winter here either although I did get a shock this morning when I looked out and saw the tops of the hills (Cotswolds) with what appears to be a fairly thick covering of snow.  We live at low level and are generally protected from the worst of the weather.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,703
    Probably depends on how wet it has been locally.  No significant rain here for ~6 weeks now and the heavy downpours reported elsewhere in the UK in early winter simply didn't happen here, so the only damage has been things nipped by the recent frosts.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,365
    My farmer neighbours tell me that December to March were like a normal Vendée winter but there hasn't been one since before we moved here in Oct 16.   They do think late March and all of April have been exceptionally cold apart form a couple of hot days at the end of March.

    I suspect the salvia Amistad in my front bed will be dead but I have a cutting in the polytunnel.   There is a shrub I planted out last autumn in the new trees and shrub area and that put new buds out last week.  All frozen to bits now so a wait and see for recovery.    
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,506
    Here in London/Kent it’s been a longer winter and it’s been a while since the cold has returned this late but I haven’t lost anything to it yet - I’m daily surprised the in bloom tulips handling the frost.

    I think we’ve been spoiled with good winter weather the last five years or so. The cycle is on the down swing now.
  • PoppypussPoppypuss LancashirePosts: 80
    Also on the plus side, my little clump of martagon lillies are the healthiest they’ve ever been with no hint yet of red lily beetle damage. Maybe coincidence but I’m hoping the cold weather has got rid of the Red Devils or at least slowed them down. I’ve had to get rid of all other lillies in the garden over the last few years. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,343
    I think we've had some prolonged spells of dry, cold winds from north and east quarters, rather than the usual south and west. In most of the country, the prevailing wind prevails a lot less, so they may not notice it as much. But over here on the western fringes, I think it's had an impact. I have a coronilla that's been happy for 10 years (including through the Beast) and although it's still just about clinging to life, it's barely surviving. Like you, the stachys has been decimated. My erigernon always disappear at this point in the year, so I can't tell yet which ones may come back.

    The swallows have arrived though, which feels early but maybe that's just because it's still cold.

    Dry springs seem to have been a pattern for the last few years
    “It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.” ― Terry Pratchett
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,984
    Good luck @Poppypuss my martagon lily has looked amazing so far...but did catch the first beetle two weeks ago. Would be great if they got killed by the cold snap, but don't think it will happen. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,365
    It can be cumulative @raisingirl.  We had a freak -32C on Jan 6 2009 which killed off all my viburnum tinus, aucuba, eleagnus, choisya, dwarf conifers, several clematis, some roses, loads of other stuff but rosa New Dawn hung on.   The next year we had a -25C and she keeled over.    Luckily I replaced all the lost clems - montanas, alpinas, macropetalas and some group 2s with hardier group 3s my supplier said were hardy to -25C.

    Swallows, house martins, swifts and cuckoo plus wisterias and tree peony are all a couple of weeks later this year and I've only just heard the first hoopoe and seen a green woodpecker.   

    There's been far more strong winds from the north and north east this year which is something t do with jet stream positions.  No doubt someone will be producing an analysis of that sometime for weather watchers.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PoppypussPoppypuss LancashirePosts: 80
    Good luck @Poppypuss my martagon lily has looked amazing so far...but did catch the first beetle two weeks ago. Would be great if they got killed by the cold snap, but don't think it will happen. 
    Yes I think I’m being a bit too hopeful 🙄. Where I am it’s been very mild for the past few winters though so I’ve quite enjoyed the recent cold snap. We have real problems with floating pennywort on the canal backing our garden, the ice didn’t kill all of it but now noticeably reduced. 
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 1,814
    Harsher than average here, I think. Encouraged by previous years, I left my pelargoniums and nemesias outside and lost some of them (they usually survive here but they are borderline). I also lost one salvia. Then there are plants that were seriously weakened by last year's dry spring, struggled through summer and haven't made it over the winter.
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