Six on Saturday: Counting the cost

I’ve waited hopefully, cut back hard, watered optimistically but the time has come to admit defeat.  Well almost – I will be making one or two last ditch attempts to prevent the inevitable flatline.  Okay, let’s reveal the damage caused by my neglect, lack of experience or possibly the oh so harsh winter.



Fred, Fred, I think the lemon tree is dead!  The move to this new garden was all the more exciting because there was a greenhouse.  Oh what exotics I would be able to grow.  Fred will remember the melons that succumbed to red spider mite.  And now the lemon tree, after one summer of delivering beautifully scented flowers, looks very sickly.  It was stowed in the greenhouse for winter,  fleeced when the temperatures fell and an extra layer added when -7 degrees was imminent.  It was watered and fed but as the temperatures rose and the fleece was removed the outcome did not look good.  I am, on Fred’s advice, going to cut back all the brown leaved stems and I’ll wait a while to see if any new growth emerges.  But I have a feeling another lemon tree will be bought and perhaps a greenhouse heater!



Fred may have some advice for me here as well.  The French Lavender received as a housewarming gift also looks dead.  I am going to cut this back to the base of all the stems and do some more of that optimistic watering and waiting.  If not, another Lavender will be bought!  Or maybe this is this space for a small daphne?



For this one I am going for the very cold wet winter as cause of death.  But I suppose it also comes under the heading of right plant, wrong place.  These straggly stems are the last remains of Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’.  I don’t think they are going to  make it at all.  Perhaps this is the place for some hellebores.



A few more greenhouse deaths: a pelagonium cutting – underwatered, and a salvia cutting – I think, but of course I didn’t label it.  This was doing fine until I went away for a few days and the greenhouse temperatures hit 40 degrees.  At least I know the automatic vents work.



Yes there’s more.  This rose came with the garden.  I released it from bindweed, pruned it, fed it and enjoyed a profusion of pinky apricot flowers.  It really performed and then it died. I think I didn’t water it enough.  It takes a while to work out the intensity of the sun in a new garden.  I cut it back as ruthlessly as I could bear and waited but there is not a sign of new growth and it has to go.  This is quite an interesting opportunity as I plan to extend the other end of this border which will make R.Natasha Richardson the centre point.  Time to work out what will go either side, something that likes it hot and dry I think.


I am being philosophical.  It’s all part of getting to know a new garden and understanding the physics of greenhouses!  I couldn’t bring myself to provide a completely dead six and of course the tulips are coming out. So here’s what is zinging in the garden (for now): Unknown tulip and Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii.  Perfect when accompanied by sunshine and blue skies!


I am sure there will be some more cheerful sixes in this week’s #SixOnSaturday collections.  All the links will be at The Propagator’s blog.  Take a look and be inspired, as I know I will be, to enjoy your garden this weekend.

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Counting the cost

  1. Ouch .. I’m so sorry for you … The photo of the lemon tree is so sad to see… As you said, don’t hesitate to give it a last chance by cutting all the dried stems. 15 days or 3 weeks should give you new tiny shoots (watering, not too much sun, fertilizer)
    For your lavender, it’s difficult to recover once the plant is dead (or looks like a dead plant). I never succeeded to see it recover. Also try to cut in the green (if it exists) …. Fortunately, the last image is optimistic … A word to finish .. sad

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you stayed the course! I did have regrets when I saw so many beautiful photos elsewhere but sorting out the dead stuff was my gardening task for the weekend. On to new plants now!


  2. I think you’re brave and honest to share defeats as well as successes! Does it help to know that I have little success with lavender? The only ones of mine that have survived are in a neglected spot that receives little water: the ones I looked after all died. Too much water I think. I pulled them all out and planted salvias instead.


  3. So much death and destruction. I wish I could be more optimistic about the lemon, but if it was cold enough to kill lavender, the lemon was probably killed back rather badly. Remember that if it dies back below the graft union, you can let the understock grow back and then graft any citrus onto it. Just be very careful; the understock has NASTY thorns!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If I ever get a coat of arms I think the motto would have to be “Emo eam, plantem eam, occidere eam” (Buy it, plant it, kill it). Such is the joy of gardening. Plant death is simply an opportunity for more plant life. I think the lavender’s had it, though the citrus may recover so long as you protected the pot as well as the plant. I’ve lost a lot of seedlings to baking in the current hot spell. One day I’ll get that right! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s