Assessing Winter’s Damage

While most of the garden has burst forth finally, quite a few things have been mighty slow, while others have obviously not survived the winter.  From what I’ve been hearing, everyone has suffered some loss in the garden from the long, cold, snowy winter.   In comparison to some, I think I’ve fared pretty well since I didn’t lose any major specimens.  Mostly I’ve had to just be patient as everything slowly unfolds this year.

The trees and shrubs look pretty healthy, except for some winter burn on the yews.  Unfortunately, these dead spots will not recover and will need to be pruned out as soon as new growth can be seen.  Depending on how bad the damage is, it may look odd for a while until the shrub fills in.  Yews are one of the faster growing evergreens, so if I’m lucky it may fill in within one growing season.


This yew below suffered the most damage.  That’s because it’s placed much too close to the dryer vent, which pumped out damaging warm air onto it all winter.  Not much I can do about that but prune off the dead branches and hope it isn’t too ugly after.

Yew; Winter Burn





Some of the other shrubs, like the Ninebark and Weigela, have a fair amount of dead wood this year.  That’s easy enough to prune out after the new growth has emerged.  Don’t be in too much of a rush to prune, especially this year when things have leafed out so late.  Otherwise, you may be trimming out slow growth, rather than dead wood.




Three fountain grasses and a lavender plant also succumbed to the winter.   I watched them for a while and saw no signs of life, except some weeds that were moving in.  In this location, I’ve had trouble with the grasses in prior years, so this is a good time to remove them and try something different

Stephi Gardens

Stephi Gardens


Lavender (surrounded by Dead Man’s fingers)















This lavender is barely showing signs of life.  But, it’s better than nothing.






Earlier this spring, I thought the potted Hens and Chicks had survived their winter outdoors.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. A couple weeks later, they are pretty much dried up and dead.  The red coloring faked me into thinking it was alive, but it was basically just freeze-dried!  This was the first time I left them in the pot outdoors instead of in the unheated porch.  Next year, back in the porch.  The ones that had been planted around some landscaping rocks also didn’t survive.   They were fairly established, so I’m disappointed they didn’t survive.  The rest of the sedums and succulents are just fine.

Hens and Chicks

How did your plants do this winter?


One response to “Assessing Winter’s Damage

  1. Seems like with evergreens, the boxwoods and arbor vitae took the most damage.

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