This is not normal for Victoria. The snow might be pretty but this is a rain-forest. We’re not set up for snow. Neither are our gardens.
Tonight’s concern is the snow load on the hedging. It’s amazing how flexible some branches can be as snow gathers & literally weighs them down. But some wood fibers are breaking as the branches bend. The sooner the weight is removed, the more likely a branch is to bounce back & resume its regular shape for good.
Out comes my trusty rake. Wielding it backward, I thrust the pole end into the lowest branches & give the shrub a light shake.
It’s best to start low & gradually work up. Release the load from lower branches before risking adding more to them with the snow falling off upper branches.
Once broken, there’s no mending a branch. All those years of growing into a full-sized shrub…
the lovely shape…
our increased privacy…
can be ruined overnight. Heart-wrenching.
Although hedgers like yew & cedar are especially susceptible, same goes for the broadleaf evergreens. Rhododendron.
Flower buds are already well-formed on the rhodos & camellia. So if I want many blooms this spring, it requires a delicate shake to remove the snow & only the snow.
After that, it’s good to head inside, dry off & treat myself to a hot chocolate (with Frangelico). After all, it’s a dark and snowy night…
As a kid I thought wild yarrow was a boring flower. Its helicopter-landing-pad flowers might be interesting to butterflies & other pollinators, but I couldn’t get past the bland white petals.
Little did I know, but there are varieties beyond our native wildflower. Just a block or so away from our current garden, a neighbour grows a striking stand of yellow yarrow (probably Achillea ‘moonshine’ in a very sunny, & dry border.
Now that I care for my own garden, I can appreciate a plant that rarely needs water or attention.
It rocks that our local deer left it alone when I added it to our landscape.
It was an additional bonus that, after cutting back the flowering stems in autumn, a ferny mound of foliage remained evergreen.
More recently I saw a red-flowering yarrow (likely Achillea pomegranate). I’m not sure why I’d assumed our native yarrow was the only variety, but I’m delighted it isn’t.
There’s a place for this one in our garden, too. Even though the West Coast is a rain forest, very little of that rain falls in July or August. Tough ornamentals are treasures.
It’s good to note that if regularly irrigated, yarrow is a vigorous spreader. The easiest way to keep it in a manageable clump is to reduce irrigation. Easy-peasy. I can do that 🙂
If the leaf is grey & fuzzy, the deer usually turn up their noses.
Maybe they don’t like fuzz, just like I don’t like to eat the felted skin on a peach. More likely it’s because fuzz is common on drought tolerant plants. And drought tolerant plants are often dry & unpalatable. Deer aren’t stupid.
It is my good fortune that Rose Campion, aka Lychnis coronaria, is so deer resistant. They ignore the upright stems and the hot pink flowers, too.
Lychnis are tough plants. Left on their own, they’ll self seed willy-nilly. That’s not a bad thing while I’m waiting for other perennials and shrubs to mature. Because Lychnis is very easy to grow & transplant, they’ve become one of my go-to fillers (along with foxglove & snapdragons).
I grow them as a mini-hedge in hopes of keeping deer out of sections of the garden.
They’re also super-handy in areas with very little soil, or little moisture, where little else will survive 🙂
These Lychnis might not grow as tall as the ones that are irrigated, but they’re just as delightful.