Gung Hoe Gardener: What's a Garden to Do with All this Snow? Print

Jan. 29, 2014:  What's a garden to do in a winter like this? Not to worry. Most of our landscape plants are hardy in Bronxville, and we take it for granted that they are fine. A cold, dry winter can be devastating, but with all the snow we are having, our gardens are happy. Snow is a natural insulator or mulch, much like a blanket.

Snow is an excellent mulch for our plants, but it can also weigh down their branches. Take time to knock the snow off your shrubs, but be careful; in this cold the branches can break. I suggest doing this in the afternoon sun and using a light broom.

Rhododendrons in our area are having a tough time this year. Even in the winter they need water, and we have had freezing temperatures for longer than usual. On top of this, our past summer and fall were dry.

Make a mental note to mulch your rhododendrons and other shrubs with leaves next fall. Beg your gardeners to leave the leaves under them; it's free. You can also purchase pine bark mulch, which is more attractive but hard to find in the nurseries that time of year.

Pictured here:  Bronxville in winter.

By N. Bower