I can’t believe it… we had our first frost of the year at the weekend.
This is the first time I can remember having a frost before November down here. We’re an energetic spit from the M25 after all and what with global warming I was looking forward to comfortably making it through to Christmas before turning on the greenhouse heater before many years had gone by.
But no – we woke to a lawn frosted with ice. I raced off down the garden, heart in my mouth to have a look at the Ensete ventricosum that my father-in-law lovingly raised from seed and then gave to me (or rather my eight-year-old daughter); it’s been growing like topsy all year and is now a good 10ft high and still heading skywards. It’s been my pride and joy, and I was just getting ready to dig it up for winter and snuggle it down in the greenhouse, but here I was, caught short.
I was so relieved to find that that Colutea arborescens which arches over it had kindly protected it from the frost and it was still intact and as robust as ever. Lucky escape. Not so fortunate were the crops up at the allotment – the Sarpo Mira potatoes had all the tops frosted (not such a big deal as I was already harvesting them) and more upsettingly the sweetcorn I rescued from rat attack with the help of my feline friends had been totally clobbered, as had the butternut squash underneath. I had a nice big squash ripening up too. That’s got an ominous grey patch on it but I’m hoping I can salvage at least some for my favourite roast veg dish.
Blimey, I can’t keep up with this climate thing. I can cope with daffs in November; I can even see the bright side over these ridiculous amounts of rain over summer (I haven’t had to water the allotment for a whole two years now). But the unpredictability is a little unnerving at times like these. I just wish it would make its mind up and stay like that for a bit.