Here we are at the start of another month, the day I share a GOOPs – a Gardening Oops. I fess-up a gardening blunder of my own from my 30-plus years of trial-and-error gardening and give readers a chance to share a GOOPs saga.
This month’s GOOPs revolves around angst and heavy snow.
Leading up to the October 29-30 Nor’easter snowstorm that still has thousands of my New England neighbors without electricity and heat, I heard lots of predictions of shrub and tree damage. In many cases these predictions were correct. Trees are snapped and split all over Connecticut and other New England states. Because we were fortunate enough to not lose power, I had time to focus more on the fact that normally upright shrubs rested near or on the ground. Shrubs like these bayberry were seriously weighted down by snow.
This dogwood tree (center of photo) had branches nearly touching the ground and a five-foot tall winterberry (foreground of photo) was reduced to a ground-level mound of branches.
I was convinced these sights meant I was in for some serious pruning chores. Lilac, laurel, boxwood, and ilex shrubs were similarly weighted down.
I used a broom to gently shake snow from bowed stems and branches. I supported each branch from the underside and carefully shook each free of its snow burden. Then I let the sun and warming temperatures do the rest.
By the next day most had recovered quite well.
Bayberry shrubs stood nearly as straight and tall as before the storm which means I can continue with my plan to prune them after their leaves drop.
The winterberry lost a few leaves and berries but generally looked as if nothing had happened. (It’s lower branches are missing because of deer munching.)
The once droopy dogwood again stood tall, its maroon leaves offering stark contrast against the snow.
Lilac, mountain laurel, boxwood and ilex shrubs likewise recovered with little branch breakage.
Yes, some luck was involved. My shrubs mostly bowed rather than snapped under the weight of the snow. My GOOPs was not having faith that my shrubs would recover. I immediately expected the worst when I should have known better. Shrubs and trees are often more resilient than doting gardeners expect.
After witnessing many, many split trees and shrubs in surrounding yards I can’t say I’ll have less angst when the next heavy wet snowstorm hits. But next time I’ll try to recall how well so many shrubs and trees bounce back.
Do you have a GOOPs, a gardening faux pas or blunder to share? Do so in the comments below or leave a teaser comment that directs us to your GOOPs on your blog.
Here’s hoping my GOOPs do not become yours. Garden thoughtfully.