There comes a time in the life of every cold climate gardener when a certain fact must be faced: the first frost of autumn is nigh. When this event occurs more than halfway through October–as it did this year, on the night of the 16th–I don’t grieve overmuch. It certainly could have happened much sooner and I have been enjoying every day of the reprieve.
I have a “Before Frost” checklist and on it is cut frost-tender flowers. I can enjoy them up to a week longer in the house, so why let the weather ruin their beauty prematurely? It is Summer’s last hurrah and a way to ease myself into the second half of autumn, the leafless half that my children tell me is called stick season.I’ve often found that flowers in full bud will open in the house, though I’ve never tried it with dahlias or cannas before. If this experiment is successful, they will open after the currently blooming flowers have gone by.
I’ve already said goodbye to these plants. I know there will still be blooms of more hardy plants after this. The gardening season won’t be over for another month, or until the last bulb is planted, and by then I will be ready for housecleaning season. But what I wasn’t expecting is that the first taste of winter would come so soon after the first frost. Sure, we have flurries in October, but really, snow that sticks on October 18th?
Yes, snow. Yes, really.The weather forecasters had predicted a 40% chance of snow last night, but I had gone to bed confident that if snow fell, it certainly wouldn’t stick. Boy, was I wrong! If I had known it was going to snow… Because after tonight’s low of 24°F(-4.4°C), we may not have frost for a week, even longer. This may be a foretaste of winter, but autumn is by no means over.
P.S. The snow was mostly melted by nightfall, even though more snow fell during the day.