I am sorry I didn’t write here for a long time. I was again busy with gardening, traveling and time has passed so quickly. Finally now we have winter again and I though I will show you how our garden looked just about 5 weeks ago when a very strong and quite abrupt winter has arrived to our area. For those of you who are perhaps visiting this blog for the first time, I am in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), Canada. The cold spell lasted for about a week and then the snow has melted during the next week or so. Since then we had a couple more winter storms, more freezing temperatures alternating with warmer periods.
This year, initially we were lucky and our tomatos and other tender plants were not frozen in the middle of October, as it often happens. Even despite the frost in our area sometimes going down to -3-4C in October or in the beginning of November, our garden still somehow miraculously survived. Perhaps the weather forecast people have measured the temperature further north and we are closer to the Lake Ontario, which could warm up the air. Besides, our garden is sheltered between other houses and gardens and maybe it helped as well.
Many shrubs and flowers were still blooming in October, including dahlias, hydrangeas, one of our butterfly bushes (the smaller one since the bigger one stopped blooming in September when the days started to be colder), huge decorative sage (“Rockin’ Playin the Blues” from Proven Winners), mallows, lavenders, toad lily, petunias, marigolds, some roses and even the leaves of colorful collias (coleus plants) looked still great till almost the end of October, which is quite unusual. In the past 4 years we usually have plants killing frost in the middle of October, or sometimes sooner and the most of the these plants, in case of perennials stop blooming and become dormant, or just die in case on annuals.
First, I would like to show you how some late blooming plants looked in our garden at the end of September and then later in October. Later I will show you what happened at the beginning of November when the the first snow and then much bigger snow and frost have arrived.
Since tomatoes stopped maturing about the beginning of October because of the cooler weather and shorter days, even if they were not killed by frost yet, I have collected all the remaining fruits around the end of October and have taken the tomato plants down because there was no point to keep them growing. I have decided it would be better to collect and clean as much as possible our vegetable lot before it will be too cold and unpleasant to work there.
I let most of the remaining vegetables and amaranths grow till I knew the really big frost was coming and they will not survive. By the way, it was my first year when I have planted amaranth and I had 7-8 plants. All of them have grown about 5-7 feet and they were looking still beautiful even in the third week of October, before strong winds and colder nights came and have bitten them up a bit. They have so huge and beautiful flowering stalks that I think they were worth growing just for the flowers and to decorate our garden till the late Fall. Anyway, I was not really expecting to collect a lot of seeds from them for culinary purposes, but I have preserved the flowers with seeds and they are presently drying in my shed. I have tried to collect some seeds and it looks like quite elaborate task, so I am not sure if I will be able to do it or it is not worth the time and effort.
Suddenly the first snow has arrived to our area around November 7th. Our garden looked then quite unusual with many flowers, including hydrangeas still in full bloom and most of the roses with leaves all intact. It was as the garden was taken by surprise after pretty mild weather we had in October this year. I think it looked quite nice, even if rather sad since the most of the remaining flowers and delicate plants were dying or going to sleep by now. Here are several pictures of how our garden looked then.
The killing frost came the next day at night and killed all the upper portions of our hydrangeas, sage, butterfly bushes, dahlias, marigolds and some other more tender plants.
Here is more pictures of our garden covered in the first snow on November 7, 2019.
On November 7 later in the day, some snow has already melted. However the next night came the killing frost and then much more snow and really very cold weather in a couple of days, as you will be able to see in a few pictures below.
Here is our garden after a pretty big winter storm we had over a two days period. Now the snow was much deeper and stayed for a few days. It looked as it often would be in our area in January or February and we were not in the middle of November yet.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and looking at our garden again. I will try to write more as the time permits.
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