Uncovering winter – Gardening Oops continued

Welcome to  March 2011 … just 19 days till Spring.

It’s still chilly and snow still covers much of the Connecticut landscape just outside my windows, but signs of spring are evident.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince this is the first day of March it’s time for another of my Gardening Oops – GOOPs for short – installments. I share my gardening blunders in the hope that my confessions will help other gardeners avoid making the same faux pas. This month’s subject is a continuation of February’s Gardening Oops when I shared my worry that my small boxwoods might not survive this season’s severe weather. My GOOPs? Not covering these boxwoods with some sort of support that would divert the weight of snow and ice falling from a porch overhang.

Just a month ago there was no sign boxwoods even existed under the heavy snow, but they are there under the mounds of white stuff along the front edge of the porch.

Today I can report good news and bad. Snow and ice has melted away from the two small shrubs on either side of the front steps.

These little survivors were complete encased in ice from earlier snow melt dripping from gutters above. I think this is what saved them.


They show no signs of damage from the extensive snow weight they endured and the ice doesn’t, as yet, appear to have damaged them. Larger boxwood would probably not have survived as well, though, so as these shrubs grow they will definitely need some winter protection.

Their nearby neighbors don’t appear to have been so lucky. These boxwoods are planted a few more inches outward from the gutter drip line so they had minimal ice build up when the heavy snows hit. With snow still melting away I can see evidence of distorted and broken branches. The weight of the snow bent over the branches of the shrub on the left and continues to pull down branches of the shrub on the right.


Had I taken the time to shelter these shrubs they would have survived the snow weight unscathed. Lesson learned … the hard way.

I’m not sure how much more pruning these little shrubs can take. Last spring they had a serious case of boxwood leaf miner. I had to prune away as many of the infested parts as possible, and douse each with horticultural oil to suffocate any remaining leaf miners. The tactic seemed to work and I had high hopes this growing season would bring new life and more pleasing shapes to the shrubs. Now I wonder what type of mangled mess I’ll find once the remaining snow melts.

Do you have a gardening blunder you are willing to share? You can leave your confession in a comment below or leave us a teaser below that leads to your own blog. We can all learn from each other as long as we are willing to share.

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4 comments for “Uncovering winter – Gardening Oops continued

  1. March 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Tangled messes after winter are always sad to see, and your unprotected boxes look gnarly. The ones encased in ice look so much better!

    My oops this month is also about winter damage, and it’s a heart breaker for me.

  2. joenesgarden
    March 1, 2011 at 9:45 am

    The damage to your maple is indeed heartbreaking. So sorry this is your GOOPs for the month … but thanks for posting on GOOPs day. This winter is really taking a toll on shrubs and small trees.

  3. March 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm


    I think most of us have made that Goops this winter. I sawsome boxwoods today that were split apart from the snow with branches from each 1/2 still covered in snow and stuck to the ground. I think we’ll all be dealing with lots of damage this spring.

  4. joenesgarden
    March 2, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Debbie, I agree. As more snow melts I’m seeing increasing shrub damage.

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