Wednesday, 2 December 2015

first frost on the garden

First frost is here, though this antirrhinum did not get the memo. Over a week since I took this photo, and it's still going strong.

first frost

Those plants you think of as tender, annuals, some keep lingering. The last time planted Alyssum, for example, was four years ago, and the same plants are still happily growing. It's not merrily self-seeding through my patio, as I once hoped it might (neither is the Erigeron or Campanula) but my garden is a hard place for seeds to start, between the cold, the dark and the slugs.

I've now definitively missed the autumn perennial planting window for 2015. But mild days have returned, so I may be able to slip my current batch of seedlings (foxgloves, verbascum and, er, something else in a similar height about which the only thing I can remember is that the cultivar name is Red Rocket) into the soil for them to start spreading their roots out in time for next spring. They're all tall, so they could do with the extra time, and since the first two frosts, the weather has been sweet and mild.

There will be a certain amount of clearing to do first, though, as Fennel, Aquilegia, and Alpine Strawberry have all run riot through the bed, and the Alkanet and Geraniums are asserting their "spreading, clump-forming" nature.

And I might slip in a few suitable seeds under the blanket of willow leaves and spent compost I'll cover everything with afterwards. You never know.

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