Frost

It’s no surprise there’s frost again. Our average last frost is in mid-May. People sometimes ask me whether a particular plant will survive the frost. My unsatisfying answer? It all depends. A plant can be perfectly hardy over the winter, but can be hit back hard after it starts growing. Sometimes it’s as fussy as the degree to which it’s grown. Remember my yellow fairy bells? The long shoots that had drooping bells were devastated by frost. The short upright shoots just springing from the ground are fine.

Sometimes you lose the fruit, sometimes the flowers, and sometimes the leaves. Some plant’s appearance can absolutely shock you. My peony shoots look like the McDonald’s arches most mornings lately, but later in the day they continue their reach for the sky. Whatever you do, don’t dig up and dispose of a perennial plant, especially a shrub or tree, just because it’s lost all its leaves to frost.  Where there are roots, there can still be life.

Today I’ve posted imperfect photos hoping you can see the beauty despite the imperfection. Faithful readers have been kind enough to compliment my snapshots, so I posted a page (Snapshot Dilletante) on my homepage offering my thoughts on flower photography. I hope you feel inspired to take some pictures in your garden. If we can capture a tiny glimpse of the beauty of nature, we’ll have done well.

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23 Responses to “Frost”

  1. I only see the beauty because everything is imperfectly perfect, but I hope your plants are going to recover.

  2. Plants are wondrous creatures, and somehow lots of them seem to get through the most impossible circumstances!

    • Yes, some are too homesick to go on, but many find a way to make the best of things in whatever soil they can call their own.

      • I do think I prefer the survivors – however straggling – before any flourishing high-maintenance show flower.

        (They’re the only sort of plants I’ll keep in my garden, or at least with very few exceptions!)

  3. The pics are great. And you are right about the plants coming back- we seeming lose a bunch to frost- but most come back. There is a nice metaphor in there somewhere…;-)

  4. great information and pics. thanks for sharing. When summer comes before spring as it did in our part of the world, frost takes out a good portion of our apple and peach crop 😦

  5. I remember the April frosts and even a snow storm or two. Being a first time gardner here and knowing how much I worry about my little garden I can understand how you feel. Sorry to hear that Jack Frost paid a late visit! I hope all your plants recover!

  6. By the way…I think the pictures are beautiful just the way they are!

  7. Still covering up some of my plants as frosty mornings continue to start the day. Great blog!

  8. I’m really looking forward to the final frost, had a few plants get damaged but like you said “where there are roots there can still be life.” I agree, thanks for sharing!

  9. Posts & pictures like these always make me glad to live in the South! Of course, the heat brings its own problems.

  10. These shots of plants touched by frost are spectacular!

  11. I, too, have been confused with what will kill a plant and what will not and when. We had plants that earlier in the year took 16 degrees and later could not handle 32 degrees.

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