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Rudbeckia triloba

Rudbeckia triloba

First frost of the year

02 December 2010
First frost of the year
We suffered our first frost of the year last night, 31 November.  When I arrived at the nursery this morning it was just below freezing at -1.  
 
We suffered our first frost of the year last night, 30 November.  When I arrived at the nursery this morning it was just below freezing at -1.  I decided to get out my camera and have a look around.

The water in the water plant frame was frozen.  Fallen leaves were trapped under the ice.  The ice had frozen in such a way that it made interesting patterns above the submerged leaves.  Frost had also patterned the shed windows. The benefit of digital photography is that I took the photos anyway and will decide whether they are good enough to print later.

It was a good day to rake up leaves off the drive, cut back the Clematis that was sprawling along the ground by the shed and start to tidy up some of the herbaceous perennials although the odd weed I found was frozen in.  As I lifted the pots off the raised beds I realised what a good day it was for catching slugs.  Lots were gathered underneath the bases of the pots and so were very easy pickings.

I decided that the time had come to put out some fat balls for the birds.  These were some that I had left from last year.  I have learned however that in future they need to be stored in a container that is mouse-proof!  When I came across them earlier this year in a carrier bag there was lots of loose seed in the bag.  I soon realised that the mice had been selectively eating the fat but leaving the seed.  Be warned!  We feed the birds all year round but like to give them a little extra when the weather turns colder.  Buying fat balls ready made was costing a fortune so now I make my own.

Amazingly, Campanula 'Blue Waterfall' is still flowering both at home and at the nursery.  It is an extremely good, gardenworthy plant flowering for such a long time.  Schizostylis, in various colours are also flowering happily.  Many of the shrubs and trees round and about have already been denuded of their red berries but there are still plenty of orange and yellow berries around.