One Doozy of Year for The Plants!

It had been so cold and so wet that I hadn’t really gotten outside into the garden. Last weekend, (May 3) I was able to finally get outside and do some cleaning out and cutting back. I was appalled at what I found–or rather, at what I didn’t find.

Back part of wildlife garden

This is the back half of my “wildlife garden.” What you should be looking at are 2 elderberry bushes, 2 butterfly bushes, and lots of hydrangeas. What you see are a lot of stumps where I cut everything down to the ground because that’s where it has all died back to.

The elderberries are dead. That shouldn’t have happened. They’re plenty hardy in my zone.

The hydrangeas have all died back to their roots. That’s not so uncommon for me. The only one that didn’t (in this garden anyway) is Lady in Red. But what that means is no blooms this year–just lots of pretty leaves. Oh well. It will be still be cover for the birds.

Hydrangea 'Pia'

This is hydrangea ‘Pia.’ It’s in an extremely sheltered location and I piled snow on it all winter long to protect it. It didn’t seem to help.


Here’s an example of what my roses look like. They’re all about 18″ high. They started out at the 5′ mark. This is the reason I never cut my roses back in the fall. If I had cut this back to 2′ in the fall, there’s be nothing left now.

Finally, just about everything in my garage died, the first year that’s happened in the 15 years I’ve been overwintering plants there. This is what’s left.

over wintered plants

You can see that even the Drift rose doesn’t look too robust. And since the hydrangea died back to its roots, what can I hope for? More leaves this season. It’s going to be a very disappointing gardening year.

2 thoughts on “One Doozy of Year for The Plants!

  1. Donna@GardensEyeView May 12, 2014 / 10:04 am

    Loving the new template…I use the same one but in orange….my hydrangeas and roses all died back as well here in CNY. And I lost 5 small trees that were 3 years old….this was a killing winter.

    • gardendaze May 12, 2014 / 10:12 am


      Thank you. After 4 years, it was definitely time for a change!

      I was feeling really miserable about everything I lost, and then over the weekend I read an article in the NY Times about the Midwest. Oh my! Of course I remember them suffering through weeks of minus 20 and minus 30 but they’ve lost everything. And their plants aren’t even ready yet at the garden centers so they have nothing to replace them with. This past weekend I was finally about to get out and do a little garden retail therapy and so I feel so much better about the whole thing.

      After all, if dead plants aren’t an “opportunity,” what else are they?

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


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