Friday, October 15, 2010

Survivors of the First Frost for October GBBD

There was a frost last night; first of the season. I decided not to cover any plants, but to let nature do its thing. However, I brought the houseplants inside from the back porch where they had resided all summer. I also potted up some less-than-hardy chrysanthemums and put them in a 'pumpkin' tureen to decorate the dining-room table.

 I was pleased to see all the houseplants were looking quite healthy. The African violets are in bloom. It's nice to have some plants inside the house again.

This morning, I sipped coffee and watched the local TV news, waiting until the frost warning had expired, before venturing outside (warmly dressed of course) to survey the damage. As expected, my most tender annuals were zapped, especially the impatiens, but most everything else survived. The new rose bed next to the pond was lovely as ever.

 Several plants are clinging onto summer with just one or two blooms. The lantana and the honeysuckle vine have the occasional blossom peeping through dead leaves.

 I was sure Jack Frost would have killed the Boston ferns on the deck, but they seem to have been saved by the grape vine that still has protective leaves.

Autumn in Pennsylvania is very beautiful, although this year the colors of leaves are not quite so bright. The maples are shedding their leaves before they turn from yellow to red.

But the staghorn sumac is as gorgeously red as ever.

There are plenty of berries for the birds in winter, especially on the crabapple near the house, and on the wild barberry in the Woodland Walk.

 I was happy to see the pansy's smiling face. Pansies love the cooler weather, even if I don't like it much.

Nearby, a flock of goldfinches rose up from a clump of echinacea, too fast for me to photograph them. They love the seeds of the purple cone flowers. I like the way the seedheads are reflected in the mirror on the picket fence. 

At last, the sun shone and changed the color of the frosty sky to blue. Then the autumn-clad trees behind the white barn were reflected in the fish pond.

I hate to see the end of summer, but I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world, where there are four distinct seasons. I truly admire those gardeners who live in places where there is endless summer ... how do they do it? I am looking forward to the downtime that winter brings. Already I have gardening plans for next season running through my head and I look forward to sitting by the fireplace putting down my ideas on paper.

But now I am going to visit May Dream's Gardens where Carol is graciously hosting October's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I look forward to seeing what is blooming around the world, today. Why don't you join me.

Wishing you a happy October in your garden!
Pam x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. What a great idea to make a pumpkin tureen to decorate your plant pot, it looks really good. We haven't had a frost yet but I know it won't be long before we do. I'm hoping to get the greenhouse tidied out this weekend so that I can move some tender things in to it. Your pond looks lovely with the reflections dancing on top of the water.

  2. Hi Pam, this is just a quick note (as we are off to a wedding today) I want to say your photographs look stunning, I haven't had time to read your post properly so I will be back at some point to have a good read, but those photo's are so good.

  3. Lovely flowers and spectacular scenery. You are truly blessed. Admired and learned from how imaginatively you've used different kinds of planters and bowls to display the beautiful products of your garden.

  4. Lovely blooms and I enjoyed my visit! L

  5. " Nicely put Pam" I always hate to see summer go... Sitting by the fire place is a wonderful way to relax and give in to what we don't really want to give into, which is cold winter months.

    October has been beautiful here in Michigan as well"... Sunny with temps in the 50's and low 60's during the day and 40's at night.

    These temps have prolonged My Cactus Zinnia's bloom time... I had fallen in love with them this summer and happy to See them still in bloom at this time.

    I envy those gardeners who have endless summers as well, and often wondered what that must feel like.

    Your pond is still lovely as usual with the reflection of an October day and nature reflecting off of it.

    I miss chatting with you guys and had a little time away from my homework today to stop by to say Hello!

    Have a pleasant day!

  6. Dear Pamela, I love your African Violets in the garden basket. They look absolutely charming. And, your Roses are doing remarkably well for so late in the season.

    Like you, I enjoy the distinct seasons since it does give one breathing space as far as the garden is concerned.

  7. Beautiful shots and plenty of images. Fall is being good to your garden. Lots of color, both inside and out.

  8. Thank goodness for panises. If I didn't have a few seeded around in the gravel, there would be nothing blooming now. Everything else is frozen.

    I don't know that we have four distinct seasons where I live: wish we did. We have summer, early winter, winter, late winter. Not very glamorous I'm afraid.

    Christine in Alaska, early winter

  9. Nice post...that Sumac is stunning! I've been seeing trees in our area doing the same thing as yours, dropping leaves before they's really odd.

  10. Thanks for coming by, Pam. I love your pond! And your hallowe'en potted plants - very cute. We are cooling down from temps in the 90s to the 60s - and you are having frost! I've forgotten what it's like to have four distinct seasons, I admit - without regret!

  11. What a great collection of harbingers of fall. I really love those berries, and what a great thing to know the birds won't go hungry!

    Happy Bloom Day!

  12. Pam, You have captured all the colors of fall in this post. Lovely blooms and I love the last photo of your pond and the reflections in the water. Happy October gardening to you too. ;>)

  13. Hello Pam,

    Your gourds/and flowers are gorgeous!
    I am staring at my un-blooming african violet right now and wondering how to get it to bloom again. I fertilize every two weeks and nothing yet. Is there something I need to do differently? Any help is appreciated!

  14. Good Morning Pam - it was lovely to read about your last stalwarks in the garden and see your houseplants. I grew up surrounded by windowsills full of them. They certainly would have enjoyed the light levels out on your porch all summer. I'm not surprised about those impatiens - we had one cold snap at the end of August begining of September here and they turned black overnight. I'm quite amazed too that the Boston Fern didn't shed some of its leaves as a protest.

    I love the down time during the winter months aswell - its great not having to go out and mow the lawn or do lots of watering.

    Thats a cute photo of the bench :)

  15. Dear Pam - what a lot of pretty survivors. I'm very taken with your Boston Fern and the way your pond reflects the season so beautifully. No one would guess how new it is - you've acclimatised it so well.

    Autumn is more in tune with my age so have learnt to love it - other than the hundreds of leaves which trash the garden

    Laura x

  16. What a great post! I see your roses are hanging on. Some of the Austins are the first to bloom and the last to fade.... I like the pumpkin tureen. Great idea. The pond looks so nice. We are having some very cool temps this week. no frost yet.. Happy Fall!

  17. Sounds like your plants are faring about the same as mine here in New York. Plenty of pretty flowers but you know they are doomed in the next couple of weeks. Yours are so pretty, The fall has been beautiful but I think you are right about the bright reds on some of the trees. the drought most likely had a hand in that. Enjoy the rest of the autumn before we are held up in our houses dreaming about spring once again,.

  18. Hi Pam, am sorry for not having been here for quite awhile. Your blooms are so beautiful to let them be experiencing frost, i pity those. I love your pansies even if you dont. It is one of my favorites. We dont have them here in the tropics and have seen them only 3x yet. Autumn is also a dream scene for me, as we only have dry and wet seasons, and our flowers are mostly perenially there in our landscapes. thanks.

  19. Thank you so much, dear gardening friends, for your wonderful comments. Rosey -- I left you an answer about Aftican violets on your Botanical plot.
    Andrea -- it is the cool weather I don't like - I LOVE pansies. Sorry I did not make it clear.

    Happy Gardening, Pam x

  20. Hi Pam, I enjoyed your post, and I feel the same about winter approaching. On the one hand I already miss the daily chores in the garden, but on the other had I'm looking forward to planning sessions, studying seed catalogs, etc. Your pond is just lovely with the fall colors. My sister and I took a long driving tour through PA a few years ago during the fall and were able to enjoy many breathtaking scenes. Are you anywhere near Washington, PA?

  21. Pam
    Your pond vignette seems to capture the entire theme of the changing season!
    Here, too, we are finally moving into Fall with our first rain. The garden's native plants begin to come alive as most perennials and shrubs trek toward dormancy.

  22. Oh, that's quite a lot of color for after the frost! We're still waiting for the first freeze here in Connecticut, and as your pictures show, it doesn't necessarily mean an end to the beauty :)

  23. Hi Pam,
    First off, I have to say how beautiful your pond looks! I love your blooms, berries, and fall foliage, too.

    We haven't had a frost yet, but it's supposed to get down to 37 tonight. We have been bringing a few plants in each day.

    I hope we still have some mild days left.

  24. Your survivors are lovely, but please keep your weather up there as I am not ready yet.

  25. Wonderful photos Pam. I love your little pumpkin tureen with the mums in. I'm envious of your seasons. I do so miss seasons. Although some say we do have 4 season in Houston -- Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Christmas.

  26. It still looks great in your neck of the woods. Here, it is about the same. I know what you mean about four distinct seasons. I'm tired and ready for winter. Did I just write that? Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

  27. My yard is pale in comparison to yours.
    Hmmm...think I need more plants :)

  28. October's fading beauty is bittersweet, isn't it? We've had a few light frosts that didn't do much damage yet, but tonight is supposed to be a hard freeze. Darn! I hate that.