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Talkback: Snow and ice in the garden

A useful tip for anyone who has a pond frozen over.

My pond had frozen over to about 5 inches thick and pouring hot water onto the ice was not very successful as it would splash everywhere.

One day I was trying to think of ways to confine the hot water into one area, I had to go into the garage and the solution to my problem was in there looking at me.

It was my Long Handled Bulb Planter. I brushed the snow off the area of the pond where I wanted the hole, put the bulb planter in place my wife came out with 2 kettles of hot water poured them into the middle of the bulb cutter tube a little bit of pressure and hey presto Job Done perfect hole through the ice.

I hope that you find that this tip is useful.

I would also like to point out that this job should be done with care when using hot water and only use a Long Handled Bulb Planter.


  • The hyacinths planted in October and placed in a closed cardboard box in the greenhouse are now in bud and ready to come into the light. then on to the windowsills. Spring really is coming!?
  • thank goodness the worst of the snow is on the waine, I have been snowed in, as I live on a very steep hill and the only way out is up, so impassable. but I have had loads of birds come to my garden for's a treat to see them hopping around,and looking pretty bins emptied for 6 weeks and no grit for the roads unable to go out, I've helped to save the planet.
  • I am afraid I have lost my Lisianthus seeds as well I thought they would be alright in a heated propagator in a 2 shelf greenhouse? but the soil froze, I then put them in a bedroom near a radiator,and have kept them lightly watered and misted them every day. I think I have 3 tiny seedlings out of 45 if they survive, what do you think of my chances?
  • I grew lisianthus last summer from some plug plants I bought from Suttons. I did everything correctly and the plants grew reasonably well but once I had planted them out after the frosts had finished I found them a great disappointment - several of them were eaten by pigeons, some didn't grow very much more and the few that did flower didn't actually do so until the autumn. All in all a great disappointment so I won't be growing them again.
  • Well my bottlebrush bush looks to have disliked the cold, now the snow has come off it has some shrivelled leaves. What's best to do? Take them off now, or do it later when there is less chance of more cold?

    My penstemmons seem to have loved the cold, however. It looks as though they're still growing..
  • I've just come back from a tour of my garden and was surprised to see that most of my plants had survived the 10 inches of snow we had. However, the larger leaved hebe's look very sorry for themselves, so does the bay tree, but hopefully they will survive minus a few leaves. I'll have to tie back quite a few branches of my larger shrubs, as they are still drooping from the weight of the snow that laid on them. Also the leaves of my prostrate form of the evergreen Ceanothus have turned a funny colour, but they did that last year after the snow, however,they shed them all and grew new ones in the spring, so I'm feeling confident that it will survive again. I know the snow is pretty and the children love it, but I'm fed up with it now and am longing for those longer, warmer spring days.
  • can anyone help me with my lawn? It is somewhat of a slope and the water runs right to the bottom which meant that the top was very dry prior to the snow. Now that the snow has melted the lawn looks like it has been suffocated for 8 weeks. How can I bring it back to life? It is also very heavy clay underneath which doesn't seem to be helping the situation much. I'm a bit clueless so any tips would be appreciated.

  • I too had had enough after the first ten or so days - lovely fun in many ways, but then just too grotty !
    I'd leave the miserable lawn, and then when the surface dries a bit - it is still fearfully wet here at least - I'd try to hollow time aerate it , but much of our grass is the same and I'm sure it'll recover...just try to keep off it for now|!
  • When we first moved to Derbyshire three years ago, our garden flooded three times. When everyone else's water had gone down, we realised that our garden was different! We too have heavy clay and it seems a spring that comes to a halt around our apple tree.

    We have worked hard and found a fairly good solution. First we renewed gutters and made sure water butts overflowed into drainage not back onto the garden.

    Next we dug a 'dry stone stream' across the back of the garden, which is wider than it is long. We lined the stream only with weed proof membrane. The 'stream ran into a 'drystone pool'. The pool again was only lined with weedproof membrane. At the bottom of the pool I dug a hole and sunk a large bucket with a sump pump with a float swich, to below the level of the 'pond'. The sump pump is powered by mains electricity and the excess water is pumped into the main drainage of the house.

    This may seem a bit drastic and a bit expensive, but it has solved our swamp problem. Incidentally the pond has not been dry except in mid summer although it is not more than about 75cm deep.

    I have built up flower beds and invested in some link=a=bord raised beds which produce fantastic veg.
  • When I first planted Cordyline I tied up the plant in winter and they rotted. I planted more and left them to the elements and they survived they are now enormous and last summer I transplanted them and the Fatsias in my neighbours gardens as they were too big for mine and would you believe it they flowered for the first time. Grinding of teeth and feet stanping amused my grateful neighbours.
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