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Christmas "snow(ice) event" week


This is not a happy Christmas story, unfortunately.
Last Sunday 20th of December was a beautiful cheerful day. As you can see on this chart it was 12 Deg.C. It was bright, relatively warm and above our average temperature at this time of the year

It was shocking that next morning was snowing. What was even more shocking, the temperature was around 6 deg C.
We thought that it will melt very quickly ….but the temperatures started to drop rapidly and within hours it was down to 3 deg and stay there for rest of the day.

This heavy wet snow started to accumulate, turning into icy blocks sticking to trees and shrubs.

This is my magnolia Susan when the snow started

…and this is couple of hours later

Icy snow

I started to worry because it was not the usual snowfall we get here occasionally .At this time we also lost electricity and shortly after cable.(Our internet is on cable). We were without these services for a couple of days.

These snowflakes were huge wet and heavy

At this point we had to wait till morning and hope for the best.
All the photos I showed so far were through our living room window. I knew that my magnolia “Susan” will have some damage just the question was , how much.

Next morning first priority was to clear the snow from the road

I noticed that the viburnum took beating from the heavy snow as well….. it uprooted.

Then Andy came in and said do not go out… there is some damage you will not like.

I was not prepared for this:

3 big leyland cedars down, uprooted. There is (was) a row of them along the road to the greenhouse which the original owner planted for privacy. That was approximately 50 years ago and he planted already sizable trees.( I found a price tag on one .)

They hit the area which I started to develop about 10-12 years ago. My hart stopped beating for a second and I knew that not everything will survive.

Observing the damage

Now, where to start?

What a mess

Somewhere there under this was my precious camellia “Elsie Jury.”

Can you find my camellia????

Search for the camellia began but sorry to say it is no more. Just a little 10 inch stump.
I planted it 10 years ago and it really started to develop into a beautiful little tree. It was blooming for last 2 years and I was trying to grow it as standard, tall enough to be out of reach of our hungry deer .
Because we live on the island it is quite difficult to source specific plants you like to have and this was one of them.

Power was restored and we managed to have have a nice quiet dinner but it rained all day long on Christmas Day.

Now it is time to start cutting.

and cleaning..

Andy managed to lift the viburnum and clamped few broken branches here and there. I have a little orchard in close by area and few trees were partially broken.

Viburnum pulled up.

So this is my little saga for 2020 year end. I am sure that I will discover much more incidents when we will be all done.

Such an anomaly. Big snow? What snow? Nice and warm today and raining. Everything is back to normal, except we will be cleaning the mess for a foreseeable future . Hope you all had better Holiday week than us and are ready to welcome 2021..
Happy New year to all.

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What a disastrous end to a disastrous year :( You will have a lot of work on your hands for a while. I hope your plants will recover in time.
I hate snow. Most people seem to think it looks pretty but to me it is depressing miserable and dangerous.

I'm glad your power came back on. It's very inconvenient without it, not to mention cold.
I hope you (and we all) have a better year to come !

28 Dec, 2020


That is so dispiriting to lose favourite plants and trees under such freaky weather conditions. This is the weirdest year. At least you are all safe and sheltered, and hopefully some plants will regrow. Such a lot of work to sort it all - Andy looks a star!
Keep safe, Klahanie. The New Year is almost upon us. Who knows what that will throw at us! Hopefully the odd Good Thing..

28 Dec, 2020


Oh my friend, I’m so sorry to read your unhappy blog. How heavy that snow must be to bring down 50-year old Leland Cedars ... just heart-breaking for you. It is hard to bear when you see the loss of precious plants that you have nurtured so carefully, especially your beloved camellia.

Good to know that you have Andy’s sympathy and support, and together I’m sure that you will gradually come to grips with everything. When the warmer weather comes, hopefully you will be able to enjoy buying some beautiful new plants. Good luck, and a sympathetic hug. x

28 Dec, 2020


It sounds like an absolute nightmare for you, not just the hazard of bad weather but the loss of treasured trees and plants too. You both certainly had your work cut out having to physically move and tidy up everything that had taken a beating. Snow can look so beautiful, but, what you’ve endured over the festive season has been terrible, Klahanie.
It’s goog you didn’t have any property damage or personal injuries. It’s definitely a sad and miserable end to an awful year for you...roll on 2021 for you both. Surely, it will be so much better???
Keep safe and well. Best wishes x

28 Dec, 2020


I read this with more and more dismay. Perhaps the remains of the camellia will go on to survive. there should be some dormant buds.

I echo the comments re lack of damage to your home and person. It could have been so much worse.

Lets hope 2021 is better for all now that the vaccines are getting rolled out in lots of different countries.
all the best for 2021.

28 Dec, 2020


Ok Klahanie I'm so sorry it's going to be a mammoth job clearing it up and saving whatever you can , it reminded me of the dreadful storm we had in the early hours of the morning when we were about to move home the trees came down across the drive we had to use chainsaws to cut them up before the removal lorries could reach us fencing panels had blown down leaving huge open gaps to the surrounding fields the worst of it was we couldn't repair or put any of it right before the new owners took over they were due to move in the same day .. I hope you can salvage something from the mess ,it's utterly heart breaking 😟

28 Dec, 2020


So very sorry to hear about your disaster, Klahanie..its so heartbreaking to find the results of a storm with such precious trees and shrubs damaged. I do hope some of your favourites have been saved.Stay strong x

28 Dec, 2020


Thank you all for your kind words. I need them in this moment.
You are right it could be worse.... it is mainly vegetation which suffered big damage. even my greenhouse survived. The big tree missed it by couple of feet. But you know us gardeners our plantings are like our babies. I usually go every day to see how everyone is doing.

Hywel, you sound so much like my OH, regarding the snow.
One reason we moved to this place is the lack of snow. He does not mind rain .

Yes Anget, Andy is a star. He is very sympathetic as he knows how these plantings are important to me. Sometimes I "force" him after our meal to walk with me around the "estate" for him to notice the new blooms, changing leaves or new shoots.....He is not a gardener but I think he appreciate my efforts. Eventually it all will be sorted out but it will take some time.

Sheila, I was in shock as well.... these trees lived happily for 50 years. It was really an ice storm not a snow storm what hit us. I could not shake it off the plants even beating it with a broom and Andy told me that he could not pick up a branch which had some of the ice stuck on it ....that how heavy it was. The interesting part was that it never went below freezing . Today is a nice, relatively warm 'ordinary' winter day and I can hear the chipper going in the background as I type. Thank you for your sympathy and the needed hug.

Paul, snow is pretty in moderation....but it also can be very destructive. We used to live in an area where snow could reach several feet every day over winter and trust me, it was not fun. Thank you for your note and compliments on the pictures .

Kate, Thank you. It could be worse, I agree . Everything will be eventually cleaned up and I will have to learn to love my new plants. Although, time is running out for me to see them at maturity.

SBG, I think you could be right and the camellia could re-sprout but it will not be the same plant for me . It is very slow growing hybrid.2021 cannot be possibly worse than 2020. Can it?
Do you feel any side effects after being brushed with the awful disease, SBG?

Amy, what an awful time you had moving houses. I bet it took a little bit of time to sort it all out. Being there you probably know how I feel at this moment.

28 Dec, 2020


Thank you Meadowland, I am sure that with time we will sort all up. I do get attached to our plants and love the old big trees with passion.

28 Dec, 2020


Oh dear, reading this it just kept on going from bad to worse. It looks absolutely heart breaking - it was good to hear that Andy is working away at clearing it all up. Had to smile at you "dragging" Andy round to see everything - I sometimes drag David round too though it doesn't take nearly as long to get round our plot...
Don't lose heart, you'll get there eventually. I do hope the Camellia survives.

28 Dec, 2020


Hi Yorkslass, I know I sounded depressing but it was the initial shock of the moment. Today was a lovely day good enough to sit on the deck and watch hummingbirds do their dancing around the feeders. We will get lots of workout for few weeks.
I will try to get the The Plant Hunters book you have recommended on Meadowland's blog as it sounds like something I would like to read. I am always interested in the origin of plants and parentage of hybrids.
Thanks for your encouraging comments.

28 Dec, 2020


Klahanie - I forbid you to plant anymore Leyland Cypress trees. :). They are my least favorite trees of all for this very reason. They are notoriously weak trees and can't handle high winds or the snow load, never mind ice. They look super ugly with broken & missing branches and usually come crashing down causing a lot of collateral damage along the way. I'm glad the damage was minimal - your roof is still intact and your car isn't flattened. There are many better trees to plant.

I'm glad you are OK and the power is back. Happy New Year.

29 Dec, 2020


Then your husband is exactly like me Klahanie, because I don't mind rain either ... in fact I quite enjoy it :)

29 Dec, 2020


I have only just read your blog and it has really shocked and saddened me. To realise the extent of damage that snow can cause is really alarming and I am so sorry that you have lost some very treasured plants. The clearing up job is massive in itself.
Hope that in time, the site will be cleared and you can replace the damaged plants with new ones to treasure.
It sounds as if you and Andy make a very strong team and are tackling this together. Very best wishes to both of you and I hope the snow goes away and the humming birds remain. xx

29 Dec, 2020


Sorry to hear this klahanie, but don’t despair your Camellia will come back, it will be painfully slow but us gardeners do have patience, this year I have hard pruned a Camellia that was flowering in the clouds, thirty odd foot cut down in first week of May, first signs of emerging buds, mid July bud break, early August, first leaves early September, like I say it’s slow but worth the wait particularly if it means a lot to you, nature can be destructive at times, but sometimes like what has happened to you it can bring fresh ideas, just trying to make you feel better, a good tip I have found over the years is to have a long cane to knock off the accumulating slow on the plants to stop them bending and snapping especially if the snow freezes, I do this with my Bamboos, hope things improve.

29 Dec, 2020


Oh Khalanie, what devastation, I feel for you, and you plants. I can't imagine Humming birds and snow.

29 Dec, 2020


Hi Klahanie thanks for asking. I seem to have got off very lightly, thankfully.
I am still coughing a little bit but I feel well and don't seem to have any other side effects except that coffee tastes odd. Same stuff that I was enjoying before I got the virus :o(

Hope the weather is being a bit kinder to you now.

29 Dec, 2020


Bathgate, no major material damage here, buildings and cars are fine, lots of vegetation suffered and so did the emotional part of me.
Happy new year.
Thank you Wildrose for your kind and soothing words.
It certainly shocked me how much damage this icy snow did in a hurry. No snow around any more just a drizzling rain.
Wishing you all the best in 2021.
Thanks Julian for your note. This camellia was not just trimmed it is gone....together with few more plants in the vicinity. Just few little stumps showing where they happily grew for years. You are right, nature is not always kind.
I wish you successful 2021.
Thank you Siris, I know that seeing hummingbirds in the snow seems unnatural but they are tough little creatures.
All the best to you and yours in the new year.
Sgb, Good to hear that this awful virus did not leave more serious side effects. I believe that the cough will stop one day and the coffee will taste good again.
Thank you for your wisdom throughout the year and looking forward to see your garden in spring again.

29 Dec, 2020


I hope the camelia & magnolia can be salvaged. We do get some nasty storms don't we? I remember in June, 1975 a storm took down a jet liner as it approached JFK. Most did not survive. It was Eastern Air Lines flight 66.

30 Dec, 2020


Bathgate, so many people are affected by weird weather conditions , hurricanes, floods, wildfires, a scheme of things, my was just a blip.
Although, we do sit on a fault line which apparently could shake us any time. That would be a different catastrophic event. Hopefully not in my lifetime.
Happy New Year.

30 Dec, 2020


Thanks Klahanie. Happy New Year. Those big storms can be scary not knowing how it will end. I was just pointing out how devastating and unpredictable they can be.

31 Dec, 2020


I know it must be difficult to see the Camellia completely damaged to a stump but it can be nurtured back to its former glory given time, happy new year to you.

31 Dec, 2020


Oh Dear you will get through the trauma ! and the weather will I am sure be kind too you, to help you restore things you know us gardeners ever the optimist 🙂

31 Dec, 2020


Julian. thanks you for your optimism. I will get over it in time. We were clamping some tree branches in the orchard yesterday hoping that they will "re-graft". Happy New year to you as well.

Hello Kidsgran. Nice to hear from you .You are right, on one side the weather can be nasty and at other times just glorious.
All the best to you and your family in 2021.

31 Dec, 2020


horrible to have damage like that to your garden, it can be quite soul destroying, but least nobody was hurt and hopefully you get to salvage some of your damaged plants. We have just had perpetual rain in the south west uk, a few storms to go with it and come easter will probably need another four fence panels, but on a brighter note i hope that the new year brings us a bit more hope and normality than the one we have just had.

31 Dec, 2020


Thanks Daveymad for your visit and your thoughts. We all will be busy fixing after the winter storms are finished.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

31 Dec, 2020


I'm late as usual Klahanie, I felt your pain, its heartbreaking to lose a treasured shrub/tree that one has nurtured and spent years admiring its beauty but agree that it could have been so much worse for you and your property, nature has a way of righting things, it just takes time and patience....Sadly our new year has not started well but we have to be optimistic and keep our hopes up for good health and normality to return to all of us....

6 Jan, 2021


Thank you Lincslass for your thoughtful remarks and kind words..

6 Jan, 2021

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