Cast ne’er a clout

What a mad few days the weather has provided. Saturday was glorious – even hot! Then the wind turned and blew viciously from the north. Pots and garden chairs blew around the garden. Yesterday I had to repot some big houseplants and it was like hanging out washing on a ship – compost flying in my face and plants and their pot covers whirling around me in the gale. But the two days of wind calmed last night. It should have been a warning.

The sun rose with a big smile on his face this morning, streaming through the window. I looked out to find the window was frosted – with frost!

The garden has been rushing along, optimistic and innocent of the cruel twists that lay in wait. Well it has had a rude shock.

Lilies stand with limp leaves and hostas are floppy and covered in ice crystals.

This alstroemeria was actually collapsing in front of me as the leaves thawed and went limp

Allium ‘Ostara’ will probably be unharmed

The poor little ‘Empress Wu’ seedlings were starting to make decent growth. They look so cold!

Just a few days ago I was reveling in the beauty of the azaleas

..and babbling on about how magnolia ‘Daphne’ flowered late so usually missed the frost. Today the flowers and leaves are frozen solid

Fortunately, the frost was not too deep and everything in the polytunnel is OK.

I am sure that most plants will recover and I am worrying too much but it just seems a shame.

* to those who don’t know the phrase ‘Cast ne’er a clout till May be out’ it refers to a winter hat and to not stop wearing it till May is out. Whether that means till the month of May is gone or until may blossom (crataegus) is the subject of regular debate.

11 Comments on “Cast ne’er a clout”

  1. Annabel finnegan
    May 12, 2020 at 8:14 am #

    I think there is more frost forecasted for later this week. I planted my tomatoes in the polytunnel way too early.. next year I’ll be more careful and patient!
    Hope you dont have significant damage.

    • thebikinggardener
      May 12, 2020 at 8:24 am #

      Thank you. The frost did not happen till 4am and is gone by 8 so the polytunnel is OK. It is so difficult to predict the weather! Let’s hope there is no more frost this week. Good luck

  2. thelonggardenpath
    May 12, 2020 at 8:23 am #

    Judging by your poor plants, must be the former!

  3. Paddy Tobin
    May 12, 2020 at 9:43 am #

    Goodness, you did get a blast of frost while we had none of it here. We had the dahlias planted out since Saturday and they were untouched. Yesterday had a bitter breeze all morning but it was milder in the afternoon.

    • thebikinggardener
      May 12, 2020 at 10:17 am #

      I was worried about your dahlias! They would not have liked it here last night. It did not freeze till 4am and was gone at 8 but it was enough to do a lot of damage. I am glad you escaped

  4. tonytomeo
    May 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm #

    It never rains in Southern California. (Actually, it does. I have seen it happen.)

    • tonytomeo
      May 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm #

      (. . . Actually, frost happens in some places too.)

  5. digwithdorris
    May 16, 2020 at 9:52 am #

    This has been a week of cold nights here too.
    Cercis candanensis new foliage is all burnt. Top of overwintering ground dahlias burnt. Surface damage but so disappointing!
    Great job on GW last night

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