Monday, November 29

Getting off lightly - so far!

Visiting other blogs it seems that so far we have managed to avoid the worst of the snow although as you will know if you visit Martyn's weather blog we have had it very very very cold.

Our poor little cyclamens wouldn't agree that they have got of lightly as they have been reduced to this:
I'm just hoping that as the snow melts the flowers will spring back into life.

Fortunately our more tender plants were given some protection just before the cold weather arrived. Some in pots have been moved inside the greenhouse.

The banana plants have been cut down, piled with straw to insulate and covered with sheets of polythene to keep out the worst of the wet. We have several Musa Basjoo plants - a hardy variety which - have so far survived whatever our climate has thrown at it.  Banana plants are herbaceous perennials so as long as the roots are protected they should survive the winter. The stems are cut back as you would any perennial and each year more shoots spring up from the roots or cut back stems creating a mini plantation. Unfortunately we won't get any bananas from our plants and I'm sure some of our visitors from regions where bananas grow wild will think it strange that we grow them for their decorative value but we do!
No doubt also our visitors from Australia will find it strange that we grow tree ferns in our garden. We have just one  and each winter this has its crown protected by a fleece muffler. The fronds will die off but as long as the crown is protected it will hopefully produce new fronds next year. This doesn't get any protection from moisture as the crown doesn't like to dry out. Each year we keep fingers crossed until we see new fronds beginning to unfurl and each year the tree grows a little taller. The trunk is made up of previous years dead frond stems.
Well we may have managed to avoid the worst of the snow up until now but with more forecast for tonight who knows what tomorrow will bring.

If you are interested in what is happening with the weather visit Martyn's blog which has lots of information, photos and charts. A new feature is an updated photo from the webcam recording the weather in our garden.

I've also updated my November diary which can be found here although so far November hasn't been exactly hyperactive!


  1. I did not realized that it is already snowing there when I seen your cyclamen picture not long ago. Banana? Wow that surprise me. I hope it will survive.

  2. we actually reached 1celsius today and had a mini thaw for a few the roads are wet and stood in water and starting to freeze and with heavy snow forecast for tonight we are going to be in a mess tomorrow!!

  3. We live so close, yet it looks like we've had a lot more snow than you. The kids went in to school this morning but were sent home at 1.30 as heavy snow was forcast an hour later which so far hasn't materialised. It doesn't look good overnight though. By the way, you haven't told us which is the odd one out from your last post. I'm amazed at the variety of birds you attract to your garden.

  4. Hi MKG The snow is far too early - the banan should survive - it did last year and is quite old now.

    Hi Tanya - Mmm thaw followed by a freeze isn't good news. We got above freezing but now it's -4

    Hi Jo, The odd one out was the bullfinch as it was photographed at an RSPB reserve and was the first real one I had seen - there was a female too. It may be as well he isn't a visitor though as I think it would strip flower buds from the trees.

    I think the snow depends on how high you are as well. I used to work at Woolley just a couple of exits down the motorway from us and we could have thick snow there when here at home we had nothing!

  5. Sorry Tanya I meant 0.4C not 4C

  6. All this snow around and we've had no more than a dusting on Saturday morning.

  7. We had a lot more overnight but not too much - the sun is shining now.

    Our webcam is sending updates of the scene of our garden from a window to Martyn's weather diary - only small but you get some idea.


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