Winter Has Landed… And It’s Beautiful

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We’ve just had our first proper frost of minus 3 degrees. The garden looked gorgeous first thing, like it had been dusted with icing sugar. It’s 11 o’clock now but the frost is hanging on as the temperature is still pretty low. Where ever the sun catches it, ice crystals glitter. Stunning blue skies, bitterly cold, clear air, bright sunshine and frost on everything… I do love Norfolk winters.

Thank goodness I remembered to bring in all of my tender fuschias yesterday. They’re sitting on the counter by a window in the garage. The banana is all wrapped up. And I’m leaving most of the dahlias in the ground to take their chances with the cold. Our soil is very free draining and more often than not, with tender plants, it’s having their feet constantly wet that does for them over winter, rather than the low temperatures.

I am slightly kicking myself that I didn’t collect up the last of the leaves yesterday, while the weather was still quite mild and pleasant. I shall have to bundle myself up and get out there soon, but I’ll wait until after the frost has gone from the grass. It doesn’t do lawns much good to walk on them while they’re frozen, so any job that requires you to do so is best left until later in the day.

There’s a large buddleja that needs cutting back, to protect its roots from wind rock during the inevitable high winds we’re likely to experience in the next couple of months. And I need to devise a better defense-against-cat-shit system for my raised beds than I’m currently employing. I think I will have to net them, as the holly branches have not proven adequate to the task. But that’s about it really. I don’t plan on doing much more in the garden. I am happy to let the herbaceous perennials and grasses die back or stand through winter, as they see fit! I think they look rather magnificent when they’re faded and frosted.

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