Major renovations in the garden! After putting it off as long as I could I have looked more closely at the damage wreaked by this winter on the 'Southern Hemisphere' part of the garden. A lot of plants have been killed which have been happy for many years - Thus Acacia pravissima, Myrtus luma, Pseudopanax ferox (I'm really sad about this, it was some 8 or 9ft high; another species, crassifolius is sprouting new buds all the way up the stem) and Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' (this has been in the garden for probably 20 years and was huge - its going to be uncomfortable to remove). Several Pittosporums have been badly damaged but are sprouting well low down. Pseudowintera colorata I don't think will but I have a soft spot for this very curious plant and saw a lovely form in Hester Forde's garden outside Cork, a much more sensible place to grow it. Crinodendron hookerianum lost all of its leaves but is growing out again well, even right at the tips of the branches. A friend with a plant higher up on the North Downs had no damage and her plant is flowering well. Its relative, the white C. patagua looks OK. Other plants haven't been damaged at all - Azara microphylla, which fills the garden with vanilla scent in late winter, is in rude health and my treasured rather gangly plant of Telopea truncata, the Tasmanian Waratah, has some strong vegetative buds (I think it may need some TLC to encourage it to flower but it grows well at Wakehurst Place, planted originally by Tony Schilling I think).
The piles of weeds and shreddings are growing alarmingly but hopefully at the end there will be lots of new places to replant. The winter was harsh (before Christmas) but didn't seem that much colder than at times we have had before - probably it was the fact that it stayed cold continuously and never warmed up during the day. Hopefully such conditions won't come again for a while!