Well now I know the destructive power of a hard frost! The last couple of weeks have had a few cold nights and yet everything seemed to be handling the lower temperatures quite well. Naively I thought that this was about as bad as it would get. How wrong was I?
Since Saturday it’s been seriously sub-zero, both at night and during long parts of the day. Throw in a lack of direct sunlight and short northern days and you get severely frozen soil. I hadn’t really noticed how bad it had got until I thought about doing a little watering on Monday morning.
It got so bad that night that I brought Chris, which has a selection of Winter Pansies that were in the cusp of flowering, into the house to thaw the soil out. The rest of the cast are braving the temperatures and I’ll learn from how they react but I’m determined to protect these Pansies as, aside from the Cyclamen, they are the only colour in the garden at the moment.
I’ve also learned a new term: Frost Heave – which is where the frost causes plants to be pushed out of the soil. It looks like most of the cyclamen have been subject to this albeit in a limited form. When the real cold snap breaks I’ll be doing a quick damage list and seeing what has made it through the first test of Winter.