And I wasn’t ready for it. I had my eye out for it, as everywhere south of us had snow. We never get snow, but I don’t know if I should be happy about this or not. I’ve never had the opportunity to build a snowman in my back yard and it seems like it would be a fun thing to do.
The boffins had said it would get down to 6°C, so I made a judgement call. 6°C isn’t that close to freezing, I’d be fine. Or more to the point the garden would be fine. Besides we were in the midst of some gloomy, windy weather that was mostly defined by the torrential rain for days on end. It didn’t seem like it would be possible for it to stop. I assumed this was our lot for the next 3 months. It is amazing how much the grey weather can bring out the pessimist in you. It is also hard to imagine how it can go grotty gloom, to a beautiful blue sky day overnight like someone had flipped a switch.
Of course the first thing I did upon waking, when it had finally sunk in that the cold I was feeling wasn’t because Hubby the Un-Gardener had stolen all the blankets… again, but it was actually cold – caused by a frost! My immediate reaction was to bleat about it. ‘Oh no my crops.’ The ones I had intended on harvesting, had it not been for the incessant rain. Some winters we don’t even get a frost so there was always hope for extending the harvest.
Then came the realisation “oh there has been a frost!” A rare magical scene where Jack Frost has made considerable effort to make my tired and somewhat neglected garden look beautiful if only for a few hours, before everything turns to mush. So I leapt out of the comfort of my warm bed and in my PJs I wandered about the garden taking photos, because you will never know if this will be the first frost of many this winter, or the only one.
I kept taking photos until my fingers became too stiff to press the button with ease. Each shot was bitter sweet. It looked so beautiful – everything laced in white. But most of the elaborately decorated plants were about to die as the sun rose in the sky and the ice crystals pierced their inner cells. Each photo became a mental list of all the things I need to do to restore the garden to an image of functionality instead of the unfolding decay.
But with all things there are blessings to be found. The frost may be taking some of my late lingering summer crops with it, but they won’t be the only victims. Pests and disease harbouring in the nooks and crannies of my garden will also be causalities of the cold and this will be cause to celebrate in my spring garden.
The other blessing is starches will have been converted to sugars and the crops who like it cold in the garden will be loving it, and I will love eating them because they will be so much sweeter.
Come again soon – the garden is about to receive an unplanned burst of energy. I really do wonder: where are my gloves?
Sarah the Gardener : o )