Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Frost

Day 233
The Daily DuBrule

I woke up this morning to a world covered in frost. I wasn't at all surprised. The television news talked about last night as "dangerously cold". Sure thing, if you are a houseplant. Yesterday was filled with scurrying about. All gardeners had to make choices- what to save and what to leave out. Which plants made the cut?

My beautiful flowering maple tree did not come in the house yesterday. It is two years old and a beautiful sight to behold. It sat on my deck all summer getting prettier and prettier. But early in the season I looked at it closely and realized it was covered in scale. I knew if I sprayed it I would still be bringing the possibility of scale into the house and it wasn't worth it. I have valuable orchids and Clivias and other ancient houseplants that I didn't want to take the chance of infecting. It broke my hard but this plant didn't make the cut.
I was sorely tempted to bring in my stunning combination planter of Coleus 'Smallwood Driveway' and geranium 'Mrs. Cox'. Oh what a pretty mix this was all summer! But I have limited room in my office sunroom and I settled on cuttings of the coleus to get me through the winter. I will plant these two together next year and for years to come. They are a marriage made in heaven. 

At Natureworks we moved gigantic planters of golden pineapple sage, Salvia leucantha, and Leonatis into the tent. They are PERFECT this week, some just coming into bloom. I looked at the forecast ahead and saw there wasn't frost in the future for the next week and beyond. They have been spared to bloom until Halloween.

I was actually surprised that our first hard killing frost came this early in one of the warmest years on record. But we take what we get. This doesn't stop us from continuing to plant and rearrange gardens. It just clears the herbaceous clutter a bit so we can see more clearly what we are doing. 

The first killing frost is noted by all gardeners each year. It is certainly a day of transition for the growing season. I will enjoy the ride to work, looking at the white frosted fields. I am dressed in many layers and ready to accept the changes brought about by these freezing temperatures. Garden sickle at the ready, onward to the next stage of the fall I go!

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