Most years, I can count on at least a few warm days the beginning of January, but this year surprised me. Frigid temperatures settled in, and barely let up except for a day here and there. I can already see some leaf burn on the tops of some of my broad leaf evergreens. All of the foliage on my Nandina has turned brown. Resist the urge to cut them off at this time. If the leaves are severely damaged, then they will naturally slough off as soon as new leaves begin in the spring. They may look unsightly, but they are protecting the leaf bud beneath, so please let them stay. The foliage on the Helleborus hybridus has collapsed and looks awful. These you should be able to cut back without harm to the plant, since some folks cut back this foliage every December anyway. This way, the foliage won’t interrupt your view of the flowers in early spring.
Perusing plant catalogs this time of year is a favorite ritual for many gardeners. Planning that perfect addition to our already crowded gardens is a pleasure that’s tough to resist. Happy hunting.
SNOW & ICE …Try to brush heavy snow off of evergreen trees and shrubs.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about ice. If you attempt to break off the ice, you are likely to damage the plant even more. Just hope the ice melts as quickly as possible. In the spring, careful pruning can fix most of the winter damage. New spring growth will take care of the rest.
THINKING ABOUT ADDING TO YOUR LANDSCAPING IN THE SPRING? It’s not too soon to give me a call. I’ll be happy to help you with your plans.
DO CONTACT YOUR LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR NOW. If you know there’s a real good chance that you will have winter damage that will need attention this spring, do try to get a date on your contractor’s schedule. The schedule for the spring will be filling up quickly. If you have a special occasion coming up this season, do share that information with your contractor. They will usually try to accommodate these requests.
The DEER will be voracious. Spray everything on the first sunny day we have. Be on the lookout for browsing in case you will need to take more drastic measures, such as wrapping your shrubs with deer mesh. Check existing deer mesh for holes. In one case, the deer made a slit near the bottom, and came in under the fence.
Stay warm, and remember, you can always call if you have any questions.