I DON’T RECALL A STRETCH of weather as erratic as the last year: nonstop 2011 rain; violent storms; nearly 2 feet of October snow but no winter precipitation; a dry-hot-extra-early spring, and now, the final blow–multiple freeze warnings, the first last night. My way-advanced garden, and the way-advanced natural landscape around it–all those tender leaves that are out too early for their own good–now what? Most is beyond my control, but I decided to try to protect some big-leaved perennials–hostas, and Astilboides tabularis and such–figuring even a few victories would feel better than doing nothing. A timely review of what to do, and a little slideshow of my latest madcap garden decor.
In March, I outlined tactics–such as making sure things are well-watered before a dip in temperatures–and offered links to detailed frost-minimizing strategies in this story that would be a helpful read if you’re gardening in a blue zone as I am on the current National Weather Service map.
This weekend, I pulled out all the stops (and empty pots, tomato cages, bed linens, garden carts, you name it…) like in the slideshow below, and got help to wheel my big potted Japanese maples–whose leaves are very sensitive to frost–back into the barn, where I overwinter them, but had set them free a week ago. Oops.
(Click on the first thumbnail to start the slideshow, then toggle from side to slide with the arrow keys on your computer, or using the arrows next to each caption.)
Always be sure to remove covers before the sun hits the plants the next day, even if another night of frost or freeze is forecast. Which means out I go before supper to re-cover everything and hope again for the best. You all tucked in?