Check out theHerbaceous Perennials Database created by Allison Mayer, a grad student at Cornell. The site documents data collected from the test plots at Blue Grass Lane maintained by Cornell students and staff, and “focuses mostly on lesser-known or recently introduced perennial cultivars and their performance in Ithaca’s Zone 5.” Lots of photographs to help you pick something new and different for next year’s garden. (Though if you find it locally, you may be able to plant it this fall.) Update: The link is finally there, for those of you who clicked on it and got nowhere.
In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.
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