Six on Saturday – 07/11/2020 – Survivors & Victims

We’re in the midst of a November heat wave – sunny and mid teen temperatures. Unheard of really. Unfortunately, it was preceded with our first hard frost, last weekend, which was a death knell for most annuals and vegetables. Luckily I had picked my cucumber (it was delicious) and all remaining tomatoes (green or otherwise) and there wasn’t much left to cry over when the damage was assessed. Things that survived seem to be enjoying our mini ‘heat wave,’ which should last well into next week. Time now for Six on Saturday – six things in the garden, a theme hosted by The Propagator.

Rhubarb – the first victim. Not at all unexpected, and quite beautiful in its own sad, subtly colourful way, as the huge leaves melt into the ground.
Survivor #1 – yes, a strawberry flower!
Survivor # 2 – this patch of Nigella ‘Midnight’ seedlings – sprung up from seeds scattered at the beginning of September. They’ll die back over winter but the roots should survive, sending new shoots and flowers up next spring.
Survivor # 3 – Kale ‘Purple Moon’ – very pretty and also, it seems, very hardy!
Survivor # 4 – this pretty white Aster, growing at the edge of the woods. Also, likely protected a bit by the woods.

I’ll end with a second victim, and the most personally heartbreaking. From seeds started on February second – almost exactly nine months ago – my one and only artichoke. I was hoping this bud would open before a hard frost because the flower is SO beautiful, but it was not to be. I should have protected it with a blanket or something, I guess…I have four other artichoke plants that have not produced a flower stalk, and that still look quite fine (the leaves, that is). Oh well. I’ll probably try again next year ! 🙂 If you have sunshine and warmth like us this weekend I hope you can get outside and enjoy. Stay safe everyone!

34 Comments

  1. So sad for your artichoke … I never sowed mine but always used cuttings: it helps to get flowers and fruits earlier. And I add a thick cover of dried leaves and mowing grass to protect the stump in winter.
    What do you mean by hard frost? (just to know and give me chills)

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    1. It gets too cold here for artichokes to overwinter, the ground freezes to a depth of two to three feet. A hard frost – usually means about -5 or colder, also called a killing frost, as opposed to just getting to around zero, with a light frost killing only really tender, exposed plants, like basil.

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  2. What happened the rhubarb – frost or heatwave? Frost is beneficial to rhubarb and when we get a good blast I like to cover one stool with an inverted refuse bin – were I more upmarket it would be a terracotta forcing pot. This leads to early, tender pink shoots of rhubarb a good month ahead of the normal time…to be poached gently in orange juicer, sugar and cinnamon and served with panna cotta! Yummmmm!

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  3. Nigella is something I wish I’d never planted in my garden. Though I like the flowers, it’s spread everywhere and I’m always pulling it out. Sorry about your artichoke. It’s sad when you wait for so long for something to flower and something like that happens.

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    1. Hmmmm…so far my nigella is only growing where I’ve scattered seeds, but we shall see. (Well, almost…I’m now recalling a few errant plants showing up unexpectedly) It’s so dry here in summer there may be a built in control.

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  4. It’s sad to see the results of the frost, but is it not amazing that there is still some beauty to be found amongst the devastation? The rhubarb leaves in your photo, for example have unusual colour in them. The kale must be hardy as it still looks really good. Such a shame about the artichoke.

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  5. It’s interesting to record our tragedies along with the triumphs. In five years time you’ll remember 2020 for several reasons ans you’ll be saying… “Remember the year I lost the artichoke?”
    Enjoy the mild weather while you can, my friend.

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