What a gorgeous day it’s been here in Williamsburg. After our first really cold night, down into the 30s, the morning dawned clear and brisk. We’ve had cool wind all day and bright sunshine. It is that time of the year to watch the weather and decide what needs to come inside for the night. Will it freeze tonight? Can the Begonias stay outside another day?
I have areas prepared to bring everything in, and we even bought a number of fresh, clean plastic disks for bringing potted plants into the house for the winter. Everything is ready to go…. but the plants. It looks like they are loving this weather!
It is a horticultural game of “chicken”, balancing the late night low temperatures against the chance to soak up another day of sunshine and fresh air.
We finally brought the Norfolk Island Pine in late last night after doing the research online to determine how much cold it can withstand: not much. If temps go back up next week it will go back out to its spot on the patio.
Many of our Begonias are huddled together, out of the wind, where the house and patio will keep them insulated by a few degrees at least. We brought a few inside after watching the 5 PM weather- just to make sure a few have extra protection should it get even colder than the forecast.
The flowers rooted into the Earth are taking the changes in stride. If anything, the Ginger lilies are giving more flowers than ever before. The Rosemary have broken out into bloom.
The Camellias unfold new buds each day, and give shelter to the tiny insects who come for their nectar.
Pineapple Sage is at its peak, covered in scarlet, reaching for the sky. The Bouganvilliea finally bloomed, after a summer of waiting for flowers, at the end of September.
This in between time is awash in color as flowers, berries, leaves, stems, air and sun vie with each other for the brightest most sparkling hues. A day like today is a gift, a golden moment out of the ever changing year. Knowing that the first frost can come any night, maybe even tonight, we wander the garden with appreciation; enjoying the gorgeous afternoon.
We’ve learned that autumn in Virginia mixes all of the seasons together in an unpredictable jumble. We’ve had 80 degree days in December, October snow, tropical storms at Halloween, and “endless summer” days after frosty breath mornings. To see all of the buds and flowers in the garden today, you might think it May.
But, it’s late October. And I’m still procrastinating. There are Caladium tubers to dig, but I hate to disturb them. Rex Begonias to pot and move indoors, and Coleus to dig out and replace with Violas. And it may turn warm again next week. I’ll save those chores for another, gorgeous afternoon.
All photos by Woodland Gnome 2013
- Wardrobe Change (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Flower or Herb? (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Popular Varieties of Coleus and What Makes them Unique (gardening.answers.com)
- Camellias (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Who were your top performers? (petalpushin.wordpress.com)