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.
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.
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.
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.