Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Frosts

A tropical garden conjures up images of palm trees and warm tropical islands. However we must remember that in the UK we have this pesky season called winter. The last couple of nights have had the first frosts in the garden, not too heavy or significant but it does mark the change of the season. Only yesterday bedding begonias still stood upright still clinging to the last of the Autumn sunshine, however today they have mostly drooped over.

Despite the frosts Hedychium 'Devon Cream'
is still putting on a show.
We have various thermometers and sensors in the garden, to help monitor what our conditions are, we are able to cross check these to the weather station at Luton Airport (which is on an exposed hill to the South of the town and is usually a degree or two colder than the garden). Last night our main sensor recorded a low or -1.0C, which is not too harsh, especially as today is sunny and temperatures are up to about 5 or so at mid morning. Another sensor recorded a slightly warmer minimum of +1.2C.

The exact temperature is likely to be different in various parts of the garden due to a variety of factors, some parts of the garden have more overhead cover, or are close to a wall or fence. Whilst this may seem inconsequential, cover or larger structures can make the difference of a degree or so, and be the difference between life and death for marginal plants.  We try to ensure that each plant is given a spot best suited to it, so some of the more borderline palms are planted with a canopy over the top or next to a wall (Chamaedorea microspadix and Chamaedorea radicalis for example).

All of the permanent plants in the garden can cope with temperatures far lower than last night, although some such as gingers will lose the top growth until the Spring returns and warms the soil again.

Last nights frost therefore isn't a serious event in the garden, but does mark the change of the season, and now we begin the long slog until Spring and the new gardening year ahead.



Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.