Although there have been three or four nights in the past few weeks where the temperature just touched the freezing point, there had been very little evidence of it in the garden. The other night though it got down to 28ºF (-2ºC).

There was no question that some of the plants felt that, and they didn't like it.


The first freeze is expected every year around this time, but I still don't like it. It's the point where the balance between green lushness and brown dormancy in my autumn garden tips decidedly toward the brown overnight.

When did my garden fill up with so many tropicals?

The castor beans were only slightly affected:

A degree or two colder and these would have been a total loss. I appreciate the fact that I get to enjoy at least some of the leaves for a while longer.

Elephant ears went all curly:

I could have posted a dozen different photos of the ruined elephant ears, but that would just remind me how many tubers I need to dig up soon. That's going to be some work.

The Senna alata has turned extremely ugly:

The leaves look interesting up close like this, but overall the plant looks terrible!

I will chop these down very soon -- at least the ones that you can see in the front of the house.

Also beautiful in its damaged state is this Malabar spinach:

I'm not sure why this one didn't suffer more damage, as the other vines of this type have leaves that are shriveled and droopy after the freeze.

Umbrella palm took a little damage:

This is a tough plant though so a little frost isn't going to kill it. The original plant I got last fall sat on top of a compost pile for a week before I rescued it.

The annual vines like this Hyacinth bean are all crispy now:

Cardinal climber too:

My volunteer butternut squash vine which showed me that deer and rabbits pretty much leave this alone has finally met its match:

Don't forget the bananas:

They're the hardest to dig up and bring into the garage for the winter, as they're very heavy. I'm hoping for good dry weather this coming weekend, as I have a lot of work to do.

Although the temps will get a touch below freezing a couple of times in the next week (30ºF/-1ºC) there's nothing below that in the current forecast. We need a 25ºF (-4ºC) night to take out all of the marginally-hardy foliage.

The transition to brown won't be complete until that happens, so I get to enjoy some color for a while longer this year.

Although there's still beauty to be found in the freeze-damaged plants if you look closely.


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scottweberpdx  – (November 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM)  

UGH...the first frost is always a bit sad...I always hope we'll at least get hoar frost during winter at some point...but it rarely gets cold enough. I remember when I grew Morning Glories back home...it was the saddest day when I'd walk out, expecting that verdant wall of green, only to be met with a mass of limp, toasted stems and leaves :-(

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM)  

Sigh. For the the first frost in the worst. After that you get used to it. I hope you'll be able to bring in your bananas before it gets cold again.

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