First Frost

I have always said that the only thing I would change about gardening in the Peace is to tack an extra frost-free month on either end of the season. We usually get an average of 85 frost-free days. Once, when I loaded those numbers into a computer garden planner program, it asked me to recheck my numbers since it would be “highly unlikely to have so few frost-free days”. Talk about insult to injury! I have always wondered what it would be like to have 120 frost-free days. Well, now I know.

I realize frost hits us all at different times. Even neighbours a mile north or south of us get or avoid frosts that we don’t. But as of yesterday, here on the McKinnon homestead we officially made 120 days without a lick of frost. If it wasn’t for concerns over global warming I’d be ecstatic. It’s crazy. The roses are blooming all over again and just yesterday afternoon I came across a gentian dripping in gorgeous deep blue blooms–a sight normally reserved for a brief week or two in early spring. Some days I find myself tapping my toe waiting for the killing frost to sweep in so I can start tossing on the winter mulch, but mostly I am revelling in all the bonus blooms.

We got our first frost last night, but while it knocked the beans to their knees everything else still looks pretty good, so it can’t be called the killing frost. Not yet. Here’s how things are looking in my garden…

Despite the lack of frost the aspens are still turning yellow; the rest of the garden still has lots of colour going on.

Despite the lack of frost the aspens are still turning yellow; the rest of the garden still has lots of colour going on.

A look at those gorgeous lemon leaves against our cobalt blue skies!

A look at those gorgeous lemon leaves against our cobalt blue skies!

Hope for Humanity Rose still blooming strong!

Hope for Humanity Rose still blooming strong!

One of many viburnums crackling with colour

One of many viburnums crackling with colour

And of course the Japanese Blood Grass still showing its spears of red...this one gets a generous hay mulch for winter since it's only supposed to be hardy to zone 5. The mulch got it through last winter and I hoping it will again.

And of course the Japanese Blood Grass still showing its spears of red…this one gets a generous hay mulch for winter since it’s only supposed to be hardy to zone 5. Mulch got it through last winter and I am hoping it will again. In Ontario it is a bit invasive. If you look you can see it did send out a runner…maybe this will be an introduction I will regret.

The kitchen herbs on the deck are still okay...have to remember to bring them in!

The kitchen herbs on the deck are still okay…have to remember to bring them in!

And the kale is turning sweet with frost!

And the kale is turning sweet with frost!

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