Tomorrow morning…Monday…I expect to wake up to the first frost that has been forecast for our area. I’ve spent the weekend doing some of my clean up chores, although the warm weather so far this fall has lulled me into a false sense that there is plenty of time to button down the garden for the winter. Lazy does as lazy is.
I did clean up several of the iris beds, finished putting up pots of tulips and crocus, winterized the fountain, cut back the hosta, did a bit of pruning, and planted my last violas and pansies. I filled the bird feeder and deployed a new suet cake. The grill is covered for the winter, though I expect I just might use it when an Indian summer day arrives.
In taking my walks in the garden this weekend I saw that there is a lot of color still around. The annual mandevilla is covered with blooms and has responded well to the warm autumn temperatures.
There are a few flowers on the Knock Out rose and lots of buds, none of which will probably make it past the frost. The pink Muhly grass has lost its pink haze, but it has been replaced with a tan haze. I’ll leave it over the winter. There is still a lovely reddish tint on some of the hydrangea blossoms.
‘Our Linda’ camellia continues to show lots of color. I think it has done so well because it is placed properly, and I kept it from drying out over the summer with frequent hand watering. There are also tons of buds on my other camellias. Tight camellia buds seem to weather the cold well enough, so I am hopeful of a good crop of blooms this winter.
I have dozens of Encore azaleas in the garden, and most of them are still blooming. As with most of the other flowers out now, they will undoubtedly wilt with the frost. At least now I can enjoy them.
The very last clematis smiled at me this weekend. They didn’t rebloom this fall as well as in past years, but at least there has been a tiny bit of color this fall. I must remember what I did to them in the past. I love these pastel shades.
We have planted over a dozen pots of pansies and violas and they are coming along nicely. One sour note is that a passing deer seemed to take a liking to several pots full of pansy flowers.
I still have a good deal of work to do get my beds cleaned up for the winter. The trees in our area are dropping their leaves, but there is still colorful foliage to enjoy. The leaves on the ground aren’t quite so enjoyable.
And so I am resigned to accept the coming of our first frost and the winter cold that follows. We are blessed here in North Carolina with passages of delightful winter weather from time to time. Thus, I am hoping to time my remaining winter garden chores with one of those nice days. Dream on!