Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mischief Night

      There was a time in the past when mischief night, the night before Halloween, was possibly a scary evening.  On a couple of different occasions on the mornings following that night, our trees and lawn were full of toilet paper trails.  Not too bad on the damage scale, but when it gets wet, it is a sticky mess.  Well after our girls graduated college, got married, and moved out, their friends, ha, quit visiting us on mischief night.
      So on this Halloween morning I was not expecting to see any evidence of mischief night.  But alas, I was wrong.  Somebody visited my gardens and laid them to waste.  Knocked over plants, left ice crystals in their wake.  Mother Nature had visited with her first hard frost of the season.  The day after the nor'easter.  When the cold air backed in.  I had covered some beds with glass, but other areas suffered.

      The walk to the back garden revealed grass blades covered in frost.  My terra cotta pot below with a beautiful mix of lettuce textures and colors wasn't so beautiful as a droopy mess.

      The canna lily clump above sure didn't like the frost.  The easiest way to deal with the cannas at the end of the season is to cut them down with a knife, load them on the pick up truck, and take them on a vacation trip to the yard waste center.  Trying to shred or chop the cannas at home to compost them is a waste of time.

      Even the swiss chard took a hit.  I was hoping to get another meal out of this patch before winter.

      Over at the park, there was serious ice on the emergency cold frames.  In many places, the veggies were frozen to the underside of the glass.  I need to make the cold frames permanent, with a front wall of at least six inches.  Yeah, we know that is going to happen soon.

      Spinach, thick stem chinese mustard, and Beedy's kale, all looked quite the worse for the frost.  And all of those plants are supposed to be relatively cold hardy!

      The cardoon didn't look happy.  This is my first year growing it, so I really didn't know what to expect.  Still have not figured out how to eat it.

      My poor little Tango lettuce patch.  All the leaves with a rim of ice.

      Ditto for the kale above.  And the leeks below.  Not a good visit so far.

      And my longing for this beautiful head to be of chinese cabbage may be dashed not by a hungry deer, but by a killer frost.

      But if Mother Nature was going to be cruel to the plants, she at least presented me with a couple of her Frostwork art pieces that morning, above and below.

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