Where do I start? Here we are at the end of April and I’m still accessing the damage from the past winter.

Today they cut down the second Fig Tree…dead . I waited to be sure but there was no hope. The branches snapped off in my hand. Same with all the Gardenia, they look like toast, brown & crunchy!  There is one in the cutting garden I hope recovers; the small leafed one Margaret Moseley calls ‘First Love’. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The Hydrangea macrophylla are pushing new growth from the roots. All the top growth is dead. There will be no flowers this season.


I am hoping the Penny Mac’s, will produce. They bloomed on new wood (i.e. current seasons growth) in my friend Penny’s garden for  whom it was named.

Penny McHenry                             Penny McHenry

(I wonder if it was because she grew them  in full sun. They always looked wilted during the day but at 6 pm her garden was transformed into the Hydrangea Heaven it was.)

To add  insult to injury a huge old Oak in the Wordsworth Meadow was uprooted last week in the wind storm.


That is my 6′ 4″ husband in front of the rootball.(below)


Now that the second shoe has fallen I’m left wondering what else could possibly go wrong. I’m holding my breath!

Forgot to mention the entire countryside was without power for the day since it brought down the power line.

Still there were many nice surprises. Who knew Stachyurus praecox was so hardy?  I was sure she would succumb to the low temperatures. ( This is yet another shrub commonly known as “Yellow Bells’)


Stachyurus praecox

The meadow is marvelous with the native Phlox (Phlox divaricata) & Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum)  that follow the spent daffodils …



and  the Viburnums are doing beautifully. This however, is another post.

How are your gardens doing after this very harsh winter?



12 thoughts on “WHERE DO I START?

  1. Hi Sandra, It was a rough winter — for people AND gardens. I am sorry to report that the gardenia you gave me long years ago, that I have watched, enjoyed and pampered, is also brown and crispy. But good news — your trillium keep coming back and I think of you each time they do. Life goes on. Thanks for your garden updates, as always. Diane

    • So sorry Diane, I know there were so many losses this year, however as an old gardening friend once said “It’s good for business, and you have a chance to plant something new!” She did own a nursery.

  2. Sandra, some of my gardenia bushes are the same-but they both still have lots of green-should I leave the brown, or cut it out-I’ve been wondering about this! thanks- pgt

    • Wait before doing anything. If the plant is not dead it will push the old crunchy leaves off as it makes new growth. If nothing happens soon cut the dead parts out. This was an incredible winter, hope we don’t see another like it anytime soon.

  3. We were so worried but MOST of our new plantings made it through -all of the boxwood! Daffodils we planted are blooming too. However both LARGE rosemary bushes are dead and of the 18 lavender we planted about 1/2 haven’t come back (although I still have hope for them).

    • Stefan, I did not mention it in the post but I lost all my Rosemary too. I don’t have much hope for your Lavender. They do not like it this cold. Use your Rosemary on the BBQ. Put it on top of the coals and let the smoke work it’s magic. Great with lamb!
      Would love to see photos of your garden.

      • Ladies and gentlemen: There is hope! I just came back from a tour of the garden and two of my gardenias are showing little tiny green shoots. by shoots I mean two or three here and there. there is one that still looks like burnt bacon. I have spoken to Pike’s and several of the neighbors who have been here since 95 as well as my yardman who seems to know what he’s doing. The neighbors say they went through this one winter and the gardenias remained like this until the Spring of the following year. We “pruned the tops and fertilized them with that EB White fertilizer for acid loving plants including gardenias. Maybe that is helping but I would suggest you give them at least through May. Now I am not an expert gardener like Sandra . Just a reporter from the field.

        My hydrangeas seem to be doing okay at least they have new growth all over, including the one you gave me Sandra. Even the midnight has buds! No word yet from the night blooming jasmine. I think that is too much to expect. We did lose one confederate jasmin but he had been planted last summer. Other doing ok. What do I do about santolina? looks ghastly!

        On the other hand…..the peonies look to be sensational. I counted over 16 buds on each plant. Yipeeee!

        The regular azaleas came and went and were nothing to brag about BUT THE SOUTHERN ONES are sensational. Best since we moved three years ago. Go figure.

        yes, we did lose the rosemary bush and the lavender, I think, but the thyme and THE OREGANO are thriving! the oregano is gorgeous!

        Reporting from Northern Georgia…..your friendly gardener Lindaraxa

  4. Sorry to see all your damage, but I do feel now that I’m not alone. More havoc was wreaked in my backyard here in Newnan, Ga from this winter’s subzero temps and frozen precipitation than I can ever recall. Ever.

    As with yours, my (surviving) hydrangeas are all sprouting green from the base but show no life in their little uppermost extremities. I lost two huge gardenias. An entire bed of perennial gaillardia and ice plants were lost. My Japanese Holly Ferns took huge hits, with only a few green stalks surviving each plant. The rosemary and lavender are history. The dwarf crepe myrtles are putting on modest green right now, but certainly not the lushness demonstrated in years past. At least not yet. The rhodos under my big cherry tree did not bloom at all, but at least they survived. Not sure if this was weather related, or if the cherry has now become a nutrient bully and left the poor rhodos lacking. Any input on that one?

    But the good news: my large bed of May Night salvia has re-emerged, ultra-vibrant and healthier and bigger than last year, and so have all the iris. My snowball viburnum is overflowing with blooms. The hosta and woodland ferns are happy. My Miss Kim Lilac survived and bloomed away. Daphne took a bit of a hit on a few of her leaves, but overall, she pulled through and bloomed her heart out.

    I’m so sorry about all your damage. But if anyone can figure out how to make a comeback, it’s you. :>)

  5. Sadly my stellata magnolia has been killed but it has been declining for several years.It was planted in 1989 and did have damage a number of years sgo when we had a very late spring cold snap come in after it had leafed out.
    It’ll be hard work now to dig it out as in an enclosed area on my patio. But I need to replace it because that spot on my patio needs shade.
    I’m sorry for the damages Sandra but hopefully some will come back.

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