Death and snow damage.

by AnneWareham on May 9, 2013

Post image for Death and snow damage.

Veddw may not be an over gardened zone, but it does make demands. Last year three full grown trees – cotoneasters – died and had to be removed. A huge job and many thanks to Jeff for doing all that work.

That disaster was then followed by heavy snow – about 10 or 12 inches. (the joy of no editor: we can have inches, feet and yards here!).

Snow at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Snow…frozen on stems.


The snow brought down the hollies which were planted in amongst the cotoneasters because they were suddenly without the support which had previously surrounded them. Squashed holly, all tangled up in remains of cotoneaster and vast amounts of flattened chaenomeles.

It was a miserable and frightening sight. This time we all had to get in to it, though Jeff and Charles did the majority (within a week I was also ill, and was sickening at the time). We hired a shedder – moving the stuff to the bonfire site was unthinkable, there was just such a vast amount of branches to cope with. We spent long enough just dragging out tangled branches, half of it on to the meadow. I despaired of clearing it all before the bulbs would be appearing and be trampled on in the work.

But! – the men got through it. Jeff shredded relentlessly – and that was no joke with a big heavy machine like that. Shred shred shred – and eventually it was all reduced to a pile of shreds. I called to halt to a rather over enthusiastic Charles, who was wielding his chain saw at, it appeared, everything, alive or dead.

Daffodils in meadow at Veddw, copyri

Bulbs safely appeared

We cleared up. The bulbs arrived safely untrampled and we are left with – rather a sad absence of things. The hollies will recover and will replace the cotoneaster. I love holly – handsome, shiny evergreens, so I will be happy in the end. Some years hence. At the moment I am looking every day to see if the chaenomeles is going to green up. Some has a lot of green tips, others less…There are gaps, the view has changed and not for the better…

This is where people get all philosophical… Bugger that. It was a great loss- the cotoneasters used to be heavy and bowed down with branches laden with brilliant red berries in winter. The hollies were well grown and handsome. It was horrid, it IS horrid and only time and much mending will make it really right.

And, yes, that was all in addition to having to remove the box balls in the front garden. And – don’t ask….

Don't ask....

Don’t ask….

Good job it’s a big and full garden.

Meadow now Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Meadow now.


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Helen May 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I dont think I have ever seen a cotoneaster grown as a tree and thinking about it, they sound wonderful. I know you have been phisophical in the past about dead plants and removing them but it seems that you have had to deal with far too many this winter.

AnneWareham May 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

We try to be philosophical, that’s true. But a full grown cotoneaster full of glowing red berries was an amazing sight, and we had four along the edge of the meadow. So – yes, it was all horrible actually. Gardens can be heartbreaking. Thank you, and Margaret, for your sympathy.

Margaret May 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I think perhaps I won’t complain about losing the odd lavender plant.

Pam Ruch May 10, 2013 at 12:38 am

But don’t you get just a little thrill thinking about watching the spanking new replacements fill the gaps?

AnneWareham May 10, 2013 at 8:32 am

The existing hollies will, I hope, recover and fill the gaps. That will be satisfying. Meanwhile they are too battered and damaged to be quite thrilling..

John May 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I knew about the box but not these. Do you know why the cotoneasters died? If you planted them they should have been in their prime. Of course, we plebeians can only guess how stunning they looked in berry in the winter as we are not allowed to see. You must be short on birds, though, as my cotoneasters hardly have a chance to produce a berry before it’s ripped off.

Being somewhat more ancient than you, the loss of a cherished large specimen now would make me very unhappy as I am unlikely to be around when its replacement grows to replace it. So I not only sympathise but empathise.

But as a youngster, you have the chance to celebrate the opportunity that the demise of these trees presents as you nurture something new. Enjoy that experience.

And, being a rebel, I WILL ASK whatever it is I’m not supposed to ask in the interest of arresting the boggling of my deteriorating mind.

AnneWareham May 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm

The cotoneasters were huge – even our bird flocks (lots) made little inroad on them. I hope the hollies will recover and replace them – they are a bit battered..Thank you for your sympathy and fellow feeling.I do now think of what I might not live to see grow where once I just thought of having to wait a long time.

Re not asking – let’s just say cess pit…..


Sara May 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Oh, how sad. And messy, to boot. I adore hollies – from a distance. Some idiot planted one 2 feet from our house and 6 inches from the driveway as a bush, which is now a weirdly shaped tree that drops pointy poky leaves everywhere in my driveway and front flower patch and arg!

The joy of renting.

AnneWareham May 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Could have been great if it had been clipped to an interesting shape..