That’s it now, probably, maybe, kind of…

Oh, there comes a time when you wish the seasons/weather would simply get on with it. I can tire of this neither here nor there season – a touch of the biblical, “Would that you were hot or cold etc”. We have had a mild autumn, very mild, warmer than usual for this time of the year. Along with that we have also had very wet weather such that the garden is a quagmire in places and working there is a messy affair. There are spots where simply walking on the grass leaves deeply indented footprints. Any thoughts of running a lawnmower are completely out of the question as it would simply cut up the grass and do more damage than the hopes of tidying up the garden are worth.

Yes, there is a hint of frost on that grass!

In this setting, the arrival of the first frost of the season was welcomed. Such an occasion would usually signal a change in the weather to colder and drier conditions. Yes, it would be colder but it would be a crisp cold and not that wet mushy coldness we have had up to now. It really is quite miserable working in the garden, cutting down dead herbaceous material, when those plants are soft and wet such that garden gloves quickly become sodden and fingers become painful with the cold. In these conditions my mind regularly wanders to the many books and television programmes promote allowing herbaceous material stand over the winter, all of this accompanied by the most beautiful photographs and scenes of crisp, dry and beautifully frosted plants while I look at soft brown mushy mess. Piet Oudolf et alia have never gardened in a messy wet and cold Irish winter.

Some further frosty morning images:

Frosty weather will certainly be cold but it will be a dry cold which makes gardening easier. So, the first frost of the season which arrived on Saturday morning was welcomed. To be perfectly accurate, it was a very light frost, just the slightest hint, the barest of whiteness on the grass, with only the mildest effect on a few tender plants – a banana plant was completely unaffected, as were several other tenderish plants. The foliage on one canna did wilt a little but recovered during the day. So, our first frost was not quite the clear-cut event I might have hoped it would be but it, at least, signals the start of winter proper. (I hope!)

Thankfully, the frost didn’t clear all the foliage from the trees and some winter colour continues:

Standing on the fence watching the fool with the camera!

10 thoughts on “That’s it now, probably, maybe, kind of…

  1. It is a relevant comment about the Piet Oudolf winter garden. Photos of frosted seed heads look very lovely but this ‘fantasy’ is not often a reality in a more maritime (mild and wet) winter. I have to say that I am almost glad to see that the frost has made more leaves drop from the trees and shrubs. I spend a lot of time wishing I could garden in a milder climate but I think it must be in my DNA (or at least learned memory) that I need a distinct seasonal change and I need a chilled rest as much as the garden does.

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    1. It is a pity, I think, that there was a fashion move in gardening here and in the UK towards the continental style for winter when our conditions don’t suit, a case of blindly following fashion.


    1. We have a lot of snowdrops in the garden and, with those in mind, we prefer to clear up early in the autumn/winter and also, of course, before everything becomes such a mess that it is a horrible job to do.

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  2. So true, I cleared soggy agapanthus leaves last weekend – my fault, should have done it earlier – put my gloves away damp and came back to them later to find mould growing. The autumn colour in your garden is wonderful.

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    1. I have gone to using very light woollen gloves under a waterproof pair. In recent years I have found the cold very painful on my hands and this avoids the worst of it and allows me to garden away though it makes the fingers a little clumsy for smaller jobs.

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