Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden.... It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks
Those magical meteorological words 'High Pressure' that we seek out during the summer months, are the very same words that can strike fear into many a gardener caught out in the autumn. While they often spell warm weather in the summer, in the autumn and winter they can mean a return to frosts. Frosts can sneak up in the night silently, and leave utter devastation in their wake.
There are a great many jobs to be done in the garden at this time of year. The greenhouse needs to have it's winter coat on for a start, but that takes time. Time is something of a luxury at the moment and what with one thing and another, life is simply getting in the way.
So for now, bringing some of the more tender plants under cover is a must. Some protection is better than none at all. It is not enough though, just to hoof a plant from it's summer home and throwing it into the greenhouse. It has to be checked for pests and diseases. A quick peek under the rim of the pot reveals a hiding place for snails and slugs. Picking over each plant, rubbing off any remaining greenfly, removing any leaves that have seen better days and a bit of a poke around the roots to check for the dreaded vine weevil can save time and heartache later on.
I was going to apologise, but I'm not sure I should. An apology would suggest I was sorry for showing yet more photographs of one of my favourite flowers, and I'm not.
Talking of untidy, this scruffy looking arrangement belongs to a young virginian creeper, bereft of it's leaves now they have turned firey and fallen. Although I have untied the stems from the support canes, I have kept the canes to remind the Man that Can to be careful when mowing the nearby grass. The plan, given time, is for this plant to cover the rear and side walls of the garage.
Two young hardy fuchsia plants nestled into the patio bed. What more fuchsias? Of course! I may well have to cover these small gifts from Grandad for the hardest part of the winter, if it turns out to be as hard as the last.