Gardening · General

First real frost

We finally got a good frost this morning. Our street was full of people scraping their car windscreens. Including the guy that came out, scraped his car clean and then went back in his house… Bizarre.


I went outside to put the recycling in the bins and was met with a brisk nip in the air. This is how it should be in winter, here in the UK. It’s about 1°C outside with clear, crisp, blue skies.

Lots of my plants are withered a little, as you would expect them to be in the winter.

I also saw this strange frost pattern on my Aquilegia… It looks, to me, like someone had sprinkled sugar on the leaves.


Anyway… Winter is finally here. I just hope my plants that are already budding make it through.


15 thoughts on “First real frost

    1. Not as far as I know. Parsnips turn sweeter after the frost… I know that one. It’s to do with the cell walls breaking I think?

      Many plants start budding mid way through a winter if they are frost hardy. I guess they use that time to slowly build up the new growth.
      But if they get a late frost it can kill all that work.
      This is what happened to my Camellia last year. B-(

        1. My Camellia did kinda well for a couple of years… But then it had just been re-potted after growing in the equivalent of a cup. So it may have been all that new root room that carried it. Now I’m just worried I will lose it. The bids were battered last year and then it got black aphids and THAT didn’t help. *sigh* poor thing. B-(

          1. I avoid certain plants as I knew them well in FL. I don’t flourish in the lack of sun here, so I don’t expect an azalea or camellia or lantana to survive. You wouldn’t believe how big they get over there, like the rhododendron gone wild in Ireland or England – weeds nearly!

            1. We do have some hardy azaleas over here. They are azaleas, rather than full blood rhododendrons.

              Funnily enough, did you hear about rhododendrons being a non-native weed? They are garden bullies. *genuinely shocked*

              1. There is a thing in N America – a rhododendron ‘hell.’ They are so thick and tight you can’t see the sun! Mostly gone now, there. But rhodos here from old abandoned land have gone nearly into hell status. They are, truly, an invasive species.

  1. We’ve had three days of it here in the west of Ireland, finally. Supposed to be snow over the weekend, but I’m doubtful! Beautiful and clear tonight, no wind. I have a rake of columbine (sorry I just can’t adapt to calling them agualegia or whatever), and they should be just empty pots right now, shouldn’t they! Instead they have leaves like yours do… the poor things. I have a variagated fuscia and it is only now shedding leaves, normally happens in Nov. It’s a right mess; how are we plant-people meant to figure this out?

    1. I’ve never known it as Columbine. I suppose this is like the ‘Crocosmia/Montbretia’ fight I have with the guys I used to work with!

      And yes. They should be just dry twigs at this time of year. Maybe a couple of very early sprouts at the base. BUT THAT’S IT! >.<

      And LOADS of people have been more than a little worried about what potential damage this mild winter will have on plants. A harsh spell now can obliterate tender buds and growth. I have Tulips coming up already that I can't see surviving if this cold snap actually hits hard.

      1. Oh no! So very early for tulips! I replanted mine quite deep this year, so no sign yet. But my poor Daffs are well up, and the orange crocosimia is about 5in tall, when I don’t see it until mid-summer usually.
        I can’t even spell aquawhatever 🙂 I learned about it in Ohio as columbine so it’s rather stuck as such. When I blog about it I use both names, of course!
        Like eggplant and aubergine, or zucchini and courgette: I have to know two different versions of English to blog about plants and gardening!

        1. Aren’t names awesome?! B-)

          Don’t worry about the daffies. As long as the flower head isn’t up they are fine. They just shut down and pick up again later. That’s something I learned earlier this week.

          To catch you out again my grandad used to say ‘Mini-marrows’ for courgettes. Technically correct… But… B-)

          Happily my crocosmia is a mid one and so drops off early enough in autumn to not be an issue now.

          I also learned why many people use the Common local name (Latin name) manner of talking about plants. That way it doesn’t matter what your local name is because EVERYONE can google the latin one.

  2. Good to learn that daffs can cope with frost. I planted the ones in the back garden too deeply, anyway, so they will definitely still be snug underground.

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