Well, the last will be first for this Six on Saturday post, as temperatures down to minus 2°C last night will sadly have seen off the dahlias for this year. The photograph was taken quite early in the day but a mammoth effort from a weak November sun was doing what it could to clear the frosty evidence I had seen on my first ramble. It is not going to get any higher than 4°C today and these cold nights and chilly days can only get more frequent in the coming weeks – but that’s what we expect, and I am not complaining.
I was prepared for the temperature drop last night, however, and had set up the heaters in the greenhouse in readiness, plugging them in but sadly forgetting to switch them on! In the Coop it was 2°C and in the working greenhouse just below zero…brrr! All corrected now, and I expect the heaters will remain on for much of the day; hopefully nothing will be adversely affected by one night without woolly jumpers and gloves…
Someone suggested recently that my greenhouses looked admirably tidy, but I can assure you that is not the case – perhaps I was selective in the views I shared! I have, though, just taken down the shade netting that I used this year for the first time and – hard to believe! – washed down the outside of the working greenhouse and willingly confess this is for the first time ever! I plan to wash the inside down too before I put up bubble wrap again for insulation, but because the working greenhouse in particular is NOT especially tidy (organised perhaps, but not tidy) it will not be the easiest of tasks without a bit of sprucing up – thus going straight to the top of my to-do list. No more new projects till it’s done!
With the sun’s brave attempt to emerge this morning came the strange feeling that I was rambling in a steady downpour, but without any rain – instead, it was a gentle breeze shifting any remaining foliage on the trees and dislodging the melted frost which fell like rain under their canopy. Our neighbour’s massive and ancient beech tree has only recently begun to put on its autumnal garb, but with temperatures like today’s the seasonal changes will now be swift and merciless.
The (special) snowdrop bed was cleared of the white summer bedding plants a few weeks ago and I am contemplating trimming the leaves of the four white or green hellebores that share the space quite soon to tidy the border and make snowdrop spotting easier. It also needs a good mulch to enhance its appearance and build up the soil level which seems to have dropped as you can see below from the pots that the newer snowdrops have been planted, which are becoming exposed.
Last year I took the plunge and replanted all my established named varieties directly into the ground, with the newer ones in my collection being planted in deep ‘snowdrop pots’ for their first few years, so my breath will be well and truly bated as I watch for those green spikes emerging. It is always a ‘tense’ experience, watching and counting to see how many of the almost inevitable losses there are to contend with as the snowdrop season progresses, so letting the preciouses loose into the big wide world just adds to the pressure – but at least there is one to cross of the list already, as today I noticed Galanthus ‘Fieldgate Prelude’ emerging, the first of this season…hurrah!
Thank you to Jon the Propagator for hosting this Saturday meme – please visit his blog to find many and varied other sixes.