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A snowed in mediterranean garden

Our village is situated at an altitude of 314 metres; we live at the lower end of it, at approximately 200 metres, at the end of a white road. Eight pine trees which once protected us from the prevailing winds unfortunately were killed by the pine bark weevil two years ago, with the result that the site is now fairly open. 

This year the snow has been exceptional - it began to snow on 9th February and continued on and off for two weeks. The last time we had such a snowfall was seven years ago, before the garden was established. Under all this snow, varying from 40 - 60 cm in depth, lay our gravel garden. As the snow melts it is all too clear what damage has been done. Many trees and shrubs will have to be severely pruned, and until the spring/summer we will not know exactly which plants have survived.

For the record we are approximately 21 kilometres inland from the Adriatic and 54 kilometres from the Sibillini mountains.
Janice

Editor's note: I have asked Janice to send us a description and some pictures of her garden in the spring or the early summer 2012; it will be interesting to see the real effect the heavy snowfall of February on the plants.

May  21st, Janice writes:

"As requested by the Editor I am updating you on the effects of our heavily snow laden winter garden.

I guess we actually survived quite well, only a few real casualties, the main one being our Pittosporum Tobira  hedging on either side of the gate. This was flattened by the heavy snow and has had to be drastically reduced.  

This also happened seven years ago when we had a similar situation, and 'how fast it grows' - you don't realise until the next disaster. It seems that these bad winters could be on a seven year cycle, as 2005 is when we suffered previously. 

The Agaves are a little battered and bruised and our Yucca, which had only been planted out the previous autumn has lost a third of its leaves, we are hoping that it will grow again from the base. 

The most wonderful thing that has happened from this cold winter is the amount of poppies that we have in the garden, we are literally overrun with them. As you will see from the photos, they have taken over every nook and cranny available,  sometimes irritatingly so ..."

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