Hard Frost in the Valley

frosty burning bush

frosty burning bush

Friday night the frost warnings were shared on Facebook, Twitter, TV, and Radio, and sure enough, Saturday we woke to frosty white feathers on the gardens. The grass wasn’t quite “crunchy” like deep winter frosts.

I should probably be sad to see the basil and peppers frozen, but in truth, I’m ready to get the gardens cleared out and ready for spring. It’s also about time to get the garlic planted (and ordered!!) so we can enjoy it next summer.

This year’s garden was underwhelming. Between drought, heavy rain, very high heat, and neglect, the only reliable harvest came from the jalapenos and banana peppers. We also had plenty of basil. The tomatoes split, and bugs helped themselves to the big peppers. It’s not that I didn’t care, but I had other business and personal priorities “getting in the way” this year. I hate to admit it, but sometimes plans fail. I planned to do test gardens this year of zinnias, after I bought dozens of varieties last year. The only zinnias in the garden this year were volunteers. In June I accepted that life was getting in the way of the garden, so I forgave myself and moved on.

Know what I love most about gardening? The optimism. We are expecting a hard winter this year, which means the bugs will die off (more so than last year’s warm winter). A good hard winter is good for the garden in that respect, and I am already planning what to put in the ground after the old plants hit the compost bin. I’m hoping for double the garlic and shallots, a good planting of onions, and adding more beds for tomatoes. I love tomato-based sauces and salsas, and we can a lot of stew, so I’m planning the garden around the veggies needed. We didn’t put up any pickles this year, so we have to have cucumbers.

So have you put your garden to bed for the winter? If so, please enjoy these frosty pictures. If not, you may be like me, and should be out there pulling out dead plants! Click any picture to enlarge.

frosty grass

frosty grass

frosty weeds

frosty weeds

frosty zinnia

frosty zinnia

frosty blackberry

frosty blackberry

frosty everbearing strawberry

frosty everbearing strawberry

frosty leaves

frosty leaves

frosty minty weed

frosty minty weed

frosty weed

frosty weed

*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**

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