How the Boiler affects the Garden

On Sunday evening as we were cocooning in our 130 year old house, we noticed that the heat had suddenly given out. It’s a long story not related to gardening, except that we ended up replacing the boiler and some ventilation and piping in the house. We appreciate that during this time of social distancing, the HVAC workers were able to do this work. We stayed upstairs, and they stayed downstairs most of the time, and it was super-expensive, but it is done now.

How does all this affect the garden, well – it took 3 days, the weather was below freezing at night and it’s a large house and my indoor plants suffered. In particular, my dwarf lemon tree, which has been doing so well suffered from the temperature variation and has MANY yellow leaves! I am worried, but it has so many lemons on it now, I am hopeful it will make it outside in the next 2 months to enjoy the sunshine.

Dwarf lemon trees

I believe that the Tangerine tree is OK, perhaps it’s more cold hardy, and my little sprouted seeds seem to be OK – the giant pumpkin plants have wilted though – did I actually have a frost in my family room?

The other issue is that, while they were working, we left the HVAC men on their own and they blasted an exhaust and vent pipe out of my basement into my front garden. While this saved us from having to replace and re-line our chimney the new pipes are not beautiful. This is the front-most part of my garden with a view from both streets on our corner lot. The pipes are larger than they appear in the picture – they vent 3 feet into the garden between a purple Lilac and a Yellow Forsythia.

3 feet of furnace ventilation pipe front and centre in the garden

While the Lilac and Forsythia foliage will grow out around the pipes, the HVAC men stated that anything that I plant in front will likely wither! Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do with this beautiful piping?

The pipe will protrude to the right side of the lilac in the photo

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