Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hard Winter for Lavender

The winter of 2010-2011 we had a lot of snow -- close to 90 inches -- more snow than we've had since the early 1980s. Plants were well insulated against the cold temperatures. Last winter -- the winter of 2011-2012 -- "they" predicted similar snowfall amounts. So... I didn't cover everything with straw like I normally do. But, the snow didn't come. As a matter of fact, we had crazy warm temperatures both late in 2011 and early in 2012 and the plants got mixed up and some of them started poking through when they should have been sleeping.

And, because of this oddball combination, many of the plants in Auntie K's Garden didn't make it. The azaleas, which struggled from the very beginning, are toast. (Actually, I see a few green leaves, but I'm not sure about their overall health.) One of the veronicas didn't make it, either. But, the plant that suffered the most was the lavender. Of the five plants on the sunny south hill, two of them survived. The other three are crispy critters. They just didn't survive the lack of snow and the frequent freeze/thaw cycles we had.

I'm so sad about this loss because I love walking by the lavender and feeling it and smelling it. I'm starting over in those three spots with tiny plants, but it looks a little uneven now. And, you can bet your bottom dollar that regardless of what "they" say the winter will be like, I'm going to cover the lavender with a winter blanket of straw.

Did your garden suffer any losses this past winter? Or was I the only gardener caught off guard?


Marguerite said...

I lost so many plants it's not even funny. Mostly my own fault as I purchased plants last spring and didn't get them in the ground until late summer so they were stressed. but then made the situation worse by not mulching. We had the same freeze/thaws it sounds like you had. So bad for the plants, some were pushed right out of the ground. It even killed a Joe Pye weed which should be indestructible.

Auntie K said...

So sorry to hear about your plant losses, Marguerite. I had a bunch of things in pots (that I got late in the season and didn't get in the ground before it froze) and some of them made it and some of them went to the compost heap this spring. It's hard to imagine killing Joe Pye Weed -- but I lost a couple of hosta, too, which are typically indestructible.

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