Will the cold weather come to an end??

Posted: 10 Jan 2009

I think this must easily be the longest and coldest spell of winter weather we have seen in the UK and Western Europe for a number of years now. After recent years of some cold nights but overall mild weather this long spell of cold will hit hard.

It will be interesting to see how our plants bear up to this so please do get in touch. One thing that societies like this can play a great role in is improving our understanding of growing plants, helping to spread details gathered through practical growing that will help others.

This year will be a real tester for many plants and I am sure that for newer plant introductions that have been coming into our gardens over the last 5 years or so, their first true test of a cold snap. Getting details on these and how they have performed will be very useful for all to share, we must have wide experience now with many plants being grown across such a wide area that will provide a solid base of information.

We must have had over a month now of depressed temperatures day and night in single digit degrees Centigrade, often minus at that!, which will sap the hardiness of many plants. This lately coupled with nights of plunging frosts under clear skies. I hope that if you can you have protected your most prized plants. I appreciate thought this is difficult when plants are of a large size, many are not the easiest and co-operative of things to gather the leaves up and wrap!

The forecasts seem to show milder Atlantic weather coming in again any day so lets hope it makes it and breaks the cold, high pressure system we have had. Today though we haven't been much above 0C all day!

As the weather hopefully improves I would imagine the first signs of damage will start to show but sadly often it isn't until a few weeks after a return to milder weather that all the damage become evident.

A positive I guess is that the days are starting to get longer again and by the end of the month this should really be noticeable. Lets hope for an early spring!

I have attached a couple of pictures from one of our forum members of plants in his garden looking suitably frosted!

Trachycarpus, Southampton, UK
Trachycarpus, Southampton, UK

Dicksonia covered in frost, Southampton UK
Dicksonia covered in frost, Southampton UK

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