doodle by andre: here today, gone tomorrow

NORTHERN GARDENERS KNOW ABOUT FINALITY. Its name is hard frost, and it will be here any day now…having sent an advance guard of light frosts three or four nights already to visit and survey the premises. Light frost is a tease; hard frost doesn’t kid around. But you have to wait until it hits your dahlias and cannas and such before you dig them (as I have explained in detail elsewhere), which doodler genius Andre Jordan apparently knows. He’d better know: This British transplant is now living in South Dakota, after a stop in Nebraska (which will soon seem like Florida, once your new version of winter sets in, requiring  a different kind of shovel altogether, Andre). Brrrrr.

  1. bobbi says:

    I am here in SD as well, and we are all doing happy dancing because we have NOT had our first frost yet. Very odd, and very, very awesome.

    I love Andre, it’s neat to know he is in my neck of the woods.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Bobbi. Very odd here, too — we are expecting the first hard frost maybe tonight or tomorrow, but noting drastic really yet. Crazy. Stay warm!

  2. Kristina says:

    The weather here in Nebraska has been so beautiful this fall! It scares the dickens out of me — what will winter bring???

  3. TomW says:

    Its been cool and dry out here in the PNW and we actually had a bit of an early frost last Monday. But as is often the case out here, the weather is now switching to wet and breezy. There will be the river floods and the first snow in the mountains but it won’t be until we get another dry spell that Jack Frost will arrive in all sincerity.

  4. Wetland57 says:

    As noted by TomW, our Pacific Northwest weather is indeed to turn windy and breezy. As such, I would personally prefer the frost as a “relatively nice” day usually follows! Depending upon the “source”, the amount of rain we’re expected to potentially receive from the approaching storm could be in excess of one inch (which is considerable for the Pacific Northwest). From what I have read, while it will be windy, I haven’t read any forecasts predicting winds in excess of 20 mph (unless you’re on the coast). As many of the deciduous trees remain at approximately 50 to 75 percent “leafout”, if the winds should reach the 30 to 40 mph range, we’re likely to see not only the lossof the trees themselves (or severe damage), but localized power outages as well.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Wetland57. Those who disagree about climate change must not be gardeners. Everywhere seems to have wilder weather, and at odd times. I know we do here. Monsoons lately, after a really dry growing season. Onward, though, in the face of it, right? :)

  5. Candylei says:

    North Dakota….out on the wide open prairie with the howling winds! Will this be his first winter there? I have banana tree I have to bring inside tonight. Our house will soon turn into a plant hotel.


  6. I wait with anticipation! We had a good frost the other day, but not hard frost. But the weather is certainly getting colder. We are mulched and I think I am on schedule Margaret. Your monthly chore lists are a great help.

  7. ilona says:

    Yes, the winter chill is certainly coming. My own concerns are more with how unseasonably dry it is. Would hate to go into winter without more rains. but it is only October, so November may have the rains. Crossing my figers.

  8. Wetland57 says:


    While I am certainly not surprised that you chose to use the term “climate change”, I want to thank you for doing so! Although the phenomenon was originally referred to as “global warming”, I cringe when I continue to hear people utter this phrase as it implies that each spot on earth will eventually become “warmer”. However, as a result of on-going research, it has been theorized (and proven in some instances) that the “average” temperatures in some parts of the world may actually decrease. However, as you noted, “we” must keep forging onward which would also imply that I must continue to “tolerate” other’s use of the phrase “global warming”!

  9. balsamfir says:

    Well, for me it is definitely warming. This is the second fall that I got well into October without a hard frost. The previous norm was before Labor Day. Then today, when I used to be skiing, its 72 F and sunny. Its a break since my bulbs and shrubs still need to go in, but really NOT normal. The heating bills are nice, but there is little to do when there is no snow and it gets dark at 4:00.

  10. Mary McGrath says:

    Here in far northern Vermont we’ve had at least a half-dozen frosts, with at least three of them going down to 24 or so; I’m still picking lettuce, arugula and spinach from the greenhouse, all covered with remay, and have big kale and Italian parsley plants outside. I eke it out until the bitter end, coming soon!

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