Before it's too late

The forecast called for a low temperature of 32ºF (0ºC) last night, which means there is a good chance that the tender tropicals and annuals got fried. I don't know, because I haven't looked yet.


Just in case though, I walked around with the camera for what could be the last time before that happens (or did happen). There will be plenty left to look at after our first light freeze, but it won't be the same.

***


I'll start with the pond, as it has the largest concentration of plants that "don't like frosty mornings":


The plants behind and on the left are the most cold-sensitive:


Colocasia, canna, papyrus -- I can't imagine what this spot is going to look like when they're gone for the winter. (Actually, I think I can.)

Besides the elephant ears, the second most prominent non-hardy plant in my garden is castor bean (Ricinus communis):



This is the time of year when visitors to my garden (including those who live here and tend it) are amazed that these 10' (3m) tall beauties have grown to this size from a seed in just a few short months.



There's not a spot in my yard you can stand and not see one of these dark-leaved wonders.

Another big plant that almost has the impact is Senna alata, which is so close to blooming I'm nervous. I want to see these blooms!



What else am I going to miss in other parts of the garden?





What makes these low temperatures so troubling is that they're usually just a night or two before the mercury climbs back up and we're out of freeze danger for another week or two -- which is exactly what is going to happen this week. No more freezing temps forecast for the next 10 days at least.

So I bring lots of plants into the garage, worry about losing these great views for a night, then wake up and realize that growing season isn't ending for another week.

(It seems that we didn't hit freezing last night, so there won't be any "after" photos of the damage tomorrow -- and I'm happy about that.)

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Christine  – (October 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM)  

Wow Alan, I'm so in awe of your garden. Perfect Autumnal colours and foliage, it is absolutely beautiful regardlessof the season. As for the pond ... its gorgeous! And once again, I marvel at your patience in having to bring all those plants indoors again for another winter.

Lisa  – (October 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM)  

The tropicals are so amazing! I wonder if I would appreciate them as much if they were hardy to our zone? Beautiful shots! This is my second favorite time of year in the garden... The first being the first day its warm enough to get outdoors of course!

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (October 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM)  

Did you get down to freezing? I hope you have a little longer to get ready for winter.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (October 9, 2012 at 8:04 AM)  

Nope, no freeze damage yet. Another week or two at least it seems. :-)

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