Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Not Winter Yet

I need to do some research on what a killing freeze actually means.  It got down to the lower 20s F. the last couple of nights, but not all of the annuals have succumbed.  Most of the perennials can take freezing temps, but at some point, they can't take it, either.  I went around assessing the damage with my camera today, and ended up exporting lots of photos again.

The red salvias around the yard did not survive.

I don't remember the beauty berry bushes being sensitive to the cold, but the leaves still look pretty wilted.

The zinnias are finished.  I need to collect some seeds.

I am sad to see the lantanas did not make it.

More zinnias:

Dead pentas:

I picked as many green tomatoes as I thought we'd use.  I'm sad to see these looking so pathetic.

The gomphrena blooms look OK even though the stems don't.  Maybe that's because they can be dried.  I did get some dried, but there were way more than I could use.

The straw flowers have survived so far.

The salvia 'Black and Blue' have damage, but are still alive.

The cosmos have both dead and living stems and blooms.

I need to see about digging up the dahlias.

Lisianthus  is a perennial in zones 8 to 10.  They still look pretty good, as do the nasturtiums.

I planted 2 more wild quinines this summer, but I think the squirrels may have dug one of them out.

The snapdragons are not ready for winter.

I think this painted lady was trying to keep warm.

It was nice to see a skipper, too.

While I was out today, I went across the street to where I have more garden space, and took photos for a different post.  I always take photos of our yard on my way back, and decided to include these.   My home vegetable garden is on the north side of the garage, behind the fence.

South of the driveway, is our shed and back of the house.  The flowers are on the east side of the property.

Some closer views:

I'm going to show the rest of my walk around the yard without much commentary.  


You can see the bench in the newest planting area across the sidewalk, behind Heidi.

This mum planted last fall has not bloomed yet.

The sweet potato vines are finished for the season.

I could probably cut the milkweed back now.

The next 5 photos were actually taken later in the afternoon, when I had decided to include all the front beds in this post.   There was some shade by then.

We are expected to have highs in the 60s and 70s for a few days, with lows in the 40s.  I am not ready to pull out the dead annuals.  I could take the herbs and some of the houseplants back outside, but I'm enjoying them inside, and I don't want to end up bringing them back in while it's cold out again.  Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying fall.

The reason I was home today, was because I started treatment for pink eye yesterday.  It was still bothering me today, so the only thing I did outside was take these photos.  I hope to go out a little bit yet after supper, but am afraid of it getting more irritated.  Have you had this?  Do you know if I should wait until the eye heals before spending any time in the garden?  I should have called the doctor's office today to ask.  Why didn't I think of that until now?  I did do a search on it, but did not find the answer.


  1. Hi Sue,

    It's always such a sad sight to see all those plants suddenly dead. Now I'm glad I use very few annuals - less tidying and they don't die quite so easily... I'm almost willing them to magically come back to life for you :D

  2. The frost only nipped some things in my garden. We did not get as cold as predicted. Only down to 31 degrees. You still have a lot there. Nice to see the butterfly!

  3. Sue, I just finished pulling out the dead tomato vines and droopy green pepper plants. I got quite a last haul of green peppers but just a hand full of teeny tiny tomatoes. There wasn't enough green tomatoes to even worry about so they all went into the city yard waste bag. All my garden automated watering system has been dismantled and packed away until next year. The hoses save one have been drained and stored in their containers. All the timers will be in the basement to keep them from freezing. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with all those green peppers. Any suggestions?

    I haven't ever had pink eye so I couldn't tell you any thing about it. Our cows on the farm used to get pink eye every so often and we had to put medicine on them. I had just about every other child hood disease but not that one. I hope you get well quickly. I wouldn't want you to miss out on any of the nice fall weather we've been having. The temperatures have dipped down into the upper 20s here but since I live up on the hill, I've escaped the killing frost so far.

    Have a great weekend.

  4. Thanks for the comments. Even though most annuals are finished when the temps get below freezing, I still like them for the long bloom time in the summer.

    I really enjoyed the butterflies this year. I think it helped having so many flowers right in the front where I could see them.

    I chopped some peppers and put them in the freezer. I looked on the internet to see if I could freeze the hot ones without cutting them, and found you can. You just need to cut them up and get the seeds out before they totally thaw out. I did not get them in the freezer, though. I still need to be very careful, because I don't want to get any of the heat from them near my eyes. I didn't know cows got pink eye. I wonder if dogs can.

  5. Wow, you've been in the 20s already?! I love seeing photos of your entire property. I've had pink eye and my kids have too. I don't think it should prevent you from being in the garden if you feel ok. Once I had it really bad and my eyes were extremely sensitive to light, but besides that, the main fear is just not to pass it on to others. Being solitary in the garden should probably be fine. Get better! Pink eye stinks!

  6. Great post, Sue...I love seeing how other people's garden slip into autumn and winer. I must say, especially from that wide shot, your garden still holds lots of color and form...I love it!

  7. Sue: Sorry to hear about the pink eye. That's great that you documented your garden at this fascinating time of year!

  8. Enjoyed the garden tour. You got much lower than us down here in the south....our lowest was 29°,

    As to the pinkeye. I don't think bright sunlight will cause any damage, but I think it would be painful. Have to you tried using dark sunglasses?

    We don't do anything when the cattle get it; used to treat but the vet says most cases clear up on their own. I have glued patches over very bd cases. The sun hurts their eyes and they squeeze their eyes shut or stay in the shade.

  9. Sue: Thanks for stopping by. You have so much more going on in Nebraska. We had a hard frost last night but the cold weather has taken its toll already around here. It is me on FB but I didn't see a friend request from you. Let me know the name you are using there.

  10. Sue, You are probably on the way to healing now, but one year I had pink eye 3 times. It is very contagious, so wash you hands often. You can re-infect yourself, as well give it to others. I picked it up at the Children's Museum :-/. As for going outside, just do whatever you feel comfortable doing - if it's too windy, which it wasn't over our beautiful weekend, you should do fine. Just don't give it another reason to be irritated.

    Every week, I fill a couple of garbage cans with dried up foliage from my flower beds or planters. No more color in the beds, just ugly brown and a little green. Time to plan for next Spring...I've already planted some bulbs.

  11. This is one of the hardest times for me seeing the damage that frost can do when I know that we will have another month of decent fall weather. Love that your butterfly and skipper are still hanging in there~They must have found a warm place to wait out the cold...gail

  12. You still have plenty of green, although of course the damage cayused by the sudden cold snap is evident. I am just amazed at how much hard work goes into creating the tremendously rewarding Spring & Summer displays you have in the garden, especially when I see how just about everything dies back completely in the coldest months of your Winter. You truly are a dedicated gardener, Sue! I think I'd end up feeling so disheartened to watch my lovingly selected, planted, tended and nurtured plants dying at the end of each Summer. Here, although we obviously do have seasonal variations, our core plants stay strong and very much alive, just not actively growing and producing new foliage. So, there is always a garden to walk about in and enjoy, even when the winters here are at their coldest. We don't get frost or snow where we are, but in the higher lying regions, they get plenty. Still, it's never as severe as you experience in the Northern hemisphere.

    Pink eye is not pleasant, but responds well to antibiotic treatment, so hopefully you'll soon be feeling better. It is highly contagious, so you do need to wash your bedding and towels and be fastidious about washing your hands. Do not be tempted to rub your eyes at all! That will just make it worse.

  13. I haven't had pink eye since grade school so I am not sure what is recommended. Although strolling around a garden is always good medicine for me. My nasturtiums finally gave into the cold night temperatures but the strawflowers are doing fine.


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.