What's missing from this picture are the autumn crocuses. They should be blooming now. No, I don't mean colchicums--they're done. (And they're not crocuses!!) I mean bona-fide crocuses that bloom in the fall. Crocus speciosus, to be precise. I planted more than one hundred of them four years ago, and for the last three years [...]
We had our first frost on Monday, 26F (~-3C). And another frost this morning, 27F (also ~-3C). We often seem to skip the light frosts altogether and go straight for the hard stuff. Buh-bye, dahlias, cannas, and cosmos. But there are plenty of plants still blooming. And let's not forget colchicums. I was recently called [...]
We live in a valley, and while we are still waiting for the sun to shine on our house, we see it illuminating the hillside behind us, especially as the sun's angle changes as we approach the winter solstice. The contrast between the sunny autumn foliage and the shadowy frost-coated lawn was striking, and I [...]
When someone asks me to name a few of the topics in my book, my usual answer has been, “Oh, things like frost is more likely on a full moon.” There’s always a pause before the questioner says, “You mean that isn’t true?” A look at data, and thinking about the variety of topography in [...]
Thanks to Mary Ann Newcomer, the Dirt Diva of Boise, ID, for mentioning our post about the difference between a frost and a freeze on her radio spot.
Very early this morning, the temperature bottomed out at 18F, so my max-min thermometer tells me. And yet, when I looked out my window, there was not a speck of frost on the grass. If I hadn't consulted the thermometer, I would have thought it was a lovely spring day out there. (The grass has [...]
Stumbled across a link to an excellent synopsis of frost and its effects via @urbangarden. If you don't have a copy of A Gardener's Guide to Frost, this is the next best thing.
Lee Valley is selling remaindered copies of A Gardener's Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons for only $7. This has got to be the best book for cold climate gardeners that I've read, but hardly anyone seems to know about it. (Read my review of A Gardener's Guide [...]
I hate the plants that can survive a cold winter but can't take a hard spring frost. It is so aggravating! The problem is they emerge too early from dormancy for their own good. I'm talking about: 'Endless Summer' hydrangea. It will get through a USDA Zone 4 winter but break into leaf long before [...]
Don't get me wrong--I love snowdrops, winter aconites, crocus and all the very earliest bloomers that signal the end of winter's dominion. But here in the land of late and unseemly freezes, plants that emerge later have the advantage. Those poor 'Black Beauty' lilies in the photo above were seduced by the atypical but not [...]