First Frosts of 2020

 Am I a "bad gardener" for being a bit relieved the freezing temperatures have arrived and killed so many of my annuals?  Just at their peek of beauty (cosmos and Mexican red sunflowers), or tail end of production (tomatoes) I feel just a little guilty as I pull the out and chop them into the green waste bin.  More, I feel lighter, more carefree than the earlier days of summer!

Once the raised beds are mulched that's it until spring for me.  My work will be done, and I can spend more time planning and plotting and ordering seeds (actually I think I'm nearly done with that.  Really.  Really Really).   Oh, there's still the herb garden and front yard, and the pots of propagating things, but the beds are done.  

Still, it was sad to see the flowers go. 

The Mexican red sunflowers were a second planting as the first didn't "take."  So, they were blooming on borrowed time.  One was around 7' tall, and just ready to open its buds.  The foliage darkens and the flower stems just snap over.

The cosmos will be missed by the pollinators.  They were the popular flowers lately.  Flower stems bent and entire young plants wilted over.  Oddly, one large plant just starting to flower, growing out in the open in the same bed where one of the Mexican red sunflower was, hasn't yet been touched by the cold.

Blanketflower stems sagged over as well.

The cold got some of the perennials too, but only the current season's flowers were damaged, the plants will be fine.  It's time to cut them back to ground level.
First thing in the morning the purple coneflowers were frozen stiff.   Later in the day the petals felt like tissue paper and their color had darkened.

Even the coreopsis flowers couldn't take the cold.  Dropped stems and petals with the feel of half-steamed spinach.

The zinnias are gone, as are the morning glories.  So are the tomatoes, leaving one to ripen indoors.  You know, you do not need a sunny windowsill to ripen those last tomatoes!  As long as they've started to color up already, all they need is warmth.  It's warmth, not light, that ripens tomatoes.  Truly.  

Now, if only it would rain.  Then the garden will be maintenance free!  (I do have some daffodil bulbs due in the mail though.  I wish these companies would send them a bit earlier.)


  1. Nothing wrong with being ready for a break. The rest of winter will give you time to get excited for the work of next spring ;)

  2. Hi, stop in from Ramblin AM and saw your from Oregon. I have a son and his family in Medford. Up here in North Idaho the growing season can be short.
    Stay Safe and Coffee is on

  3. ...why is the bad? There comes a time to move on the next things!


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