First Frost



The first frost of the season touched our garden last night.  After a windy, cold day, the temperatures dropped quickly through the 30s and into the mid-twenties here.  What a quick transition!  We awoke to a front garden sparkling in the morning sunshine, the ground covered in frost.




Ollie, our cat, asked to go out around supper time.  He had spent the day basking in the sunshine on a thick rug, watching the trees swaying and the birds flying through a large glass door nearby.  Even with his thickening fur coat, it was a bit much.  He was at the door, ready to come back inside, in short order.

I know.  I was out there, too.  A rumble at the street alerted me that a truck was at the top of our drive well after nightfall.  I stepped outside to find a new UPS driver struggling to find us in the dark.  I called to him, an invisible voice in the night; confirmed the delivery was for us, and then started the long climb up the drive to meet him.   Oh, the wind was cold!




Cold comes swiftly to our region, once it finally does.  Week after week of lingering  warmth, sunshine, and generally happy weather don’t just fade into fall.  It was 80F her on Saturday!  And now, after a couple of windy days on the downside of the mercurial climate roller coaster, we find ourselves waking up to a frost covered garden.

Ah, change!




You just know, sometimes, when it is time to move on.  And living in Virginia we learn early that change is the only real constant.   Summer must come to a close.  Autumn leaves must fall on the frosty wind even as perennials fade, annuals freeze, and the clearest blue sky imaginable glows through newly bare branches.

We find beauty and happiness in each season’s progress.




It is time for winter to settle over our garden.  We have returned to a season of rest and contemplation; a time to meditate on the ‘bare bones’ of things as we make way for something new.

Winter cleans the garden in ways I never would.  The winds, like a cadre of frosty maids, sweep and scour, straighten and put away what has grown perhaps a bit shabby with time.

We appreciate nature’s gesture, even as we appreciate the beauty and richness of the season’s passing.




Woodland Gnome 2016


A Forest Garden 2017 garden calendar is now available




About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “First Frost

  1. Winter moves in fast doesn’t it? We are chilly,chilly cold cold up here in New England. Brrrr.

  2. wow, 50 degrees is a big drop! What a surprise for your garden.
    It really feels like winter here, the wind chill is wicked!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • I know you like wintery weather, and I hope you at least have a beautiful snow to go with the cold, Eliza. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Thank you. Again, folks an hour to the west of us got 9-17″ of snow and we got a dusting. I’m not complaining, but let’s hope we get more normal precip. this winter. We need it! (Walking in the brisk wind today was enjoyable – so long as my body is warm, I don’t mind the roses in my cheeks!)

  3. We’ve had a long season of rain and cooler weather to get used to what’s coming. That sudden drop can be challenging. As usual, you find a philosophical approach, nicely articulated.

    • Why thank you, Rickii. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ❤

      By the way, the last several times I've tried to leave comments on one of your posts… including this AM…. I've gotten error messages and my comments were rejected. Are you heaving that from others? I don't really understand the error message, but it has been the same each time. Thought you might want to know- I'll keep stopping by, even if the comment doesn't post 😉

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