The down side of winter is it gets a little cold

After the slight mishap the other day with the rusty trellis my gardening has been quite limited, which has been a little frustrating because we have had the most incredible blue sky days.  The kind of day were you could almost believe it was a different season.  Almost…   the sub-zero temperatures that start the day and the fact the sun loses strength around mid-afternoon and is quickly replaced with a bracing chill is enough of a reminder this is not summer.

Frosted rosehips
The cold can be beautiful

Actually a little frustrating only really begins to express how I feel.  I was being super productive before the accident.  No, I won’t use the word accident, it sounds too serious – let’s call it an unfortunate incident, I wrote a list and was happily and steadily making my way through it.  I was getting things done.  And then – well… sometimes things happen and you know instinctively you need medical assistance.  Normally I’m quite a tough chick, and have wrapped a bandaid over some injury or other and carried on, determined to get the job done, without so much an expletive being uttered.  This time was different – still no expletive – I was too busy feeling woozy.  The rest of the day was written off at the medical centre, mostly waiting.

a frosty scene of the garden
A winter wonderland – this is about as cold as it gets for us.

The staff took my injury quite seriously too, aside from it being caused by a rusty trellis, but my hands were still caked in the rich fertile soil that I had lovingly prepared for my sweet peas, that were to climb up that rusty trellis.  It will look awesome in a few months.  So it was a tetanus shot and a course of antibiotics.  My thumb isn’t too bad.  The tetanus shot has put that into perspective nicely for me as it has been much more painful and so one arm was weak from what is supposed to help me and the other is weak from my self-inflicted misjudgement.

The carrots don't seem to mind a bit of icy lace
The carrots don’t seem to mind a bit of icy lace

I was advised not to get my thumb wet.  But they didn’t say anything about cement.

I’ve have been quite pleased with my little terracotta pot heater.  Each night in the rapidly decending chill, I have taken myself out there and tucked my little seedlings up for the night.  Just one 8 hour candle, while not completely keeping the frost at bay, has kept them safe from harm.  The other morning I raced out in my PJs and took loads of photos, because you’ll never know when you’ll need frost photos, and my outside thermometer was caked in ice and once I cleared the screen it blinked -5°C at me.  While in the greenhouse, which was covered in a thick layer of ice, and the thinnest of layer on the inside in places, the minimum maximum thermometer read the coldest it had been all night was -1°C.  My plants looked as perky as they had ever been and the temperature quickly rose to the lofty heights of the high twenties during the day.

But not all was right in there. Some vile vermin had dug his way in through the compacted sand I had at the base corners of the greenhouse.  I assume he was seeking the warmth I had so generously provided for my plants and proceeded to dance a merry dance and wreaked havoc as it raced from one exciting thing to the next.  It dug down to my potatoes and took a bite.  It ate the cape gooseberry seeds I has left there so I would remember to plant them and I could tell it used my slow to grow onion seedlings as table as there was debris and flattened seedlings where he has feasted.  It ate all of my wheat seeds and moved the mustard and lupin seeds to do so.  I didn’t think he liked the lupin seeds, but it seemed he was saving them for later as I found a rather large pile of them outside the greenhouse.  He even ate through the plastic bag of the seed raising mix soil to see what was in there.

But the thing that freaked me out the most was I had a plastic container of rat bait in there but hadn’t used it.  In his greed, he nibbled around the edge of the lid and then made a hole in the side and ate his fill.  This guy was tough.

Rat bait self service

Not wanting him or his friends and family to return I one-handedly grabbed a bag of cement from the shed and set about shoring up the corners with a solid concrete barrier so it was impenetrable to all rodents and vermin, big and small.  That will sort them out!

But for me that was my limit.  If I am to get into the garden soon, then I need to stay out of it for now.

Come again soon – the garden calls to me like a sea siren calls to passing pirates.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

22 thoughts on “The down side of winter is it gets a little cold

  1. Gosh, Sarah, glad you are OK and on the mend. Sorry about the varmints eating your seeds! And it IS cold there! I’ll take a little of that cold this week (hitting 106 in northern California tomorrow!). Take care!

    1. HI Terri. It was a bit of a disastrous week when you think about it, but I seem to be on top of things now.
      Woah… I just translated 106F into Celsius – That is VERY hot. The most we get is around 28C (around 80F) anything more than that makes the news!
      I hope you are able to stay cool in that heat. Take care.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Your garden is still looking so lovely – I too have been finding the beauty in the frosts of late, some of the pictures are just gorgeous. Makes you almost a little happy to see the weather roll around

    1. Hi Deb. The injury was just annoying. Although I found if I put a couple of pairs of gloves on and went gently then I could still get things done.
      While not as busy as summer gardening, there is more than enough to do over the winter to keep green hands busy.
      I am totally blessed to have such a lovely greenhouse gifted to me a couple of years ago.
      I hope your summer is going well.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Great post .. So sorry to hear of your 4 legged visitor. They get me all the time. Strawberries, corn, they will even dig up carrots .. Little suckers. How damned frustrating for you 😔. Loved all your icy pics. Our veg garden got iced the other day .. Good luck with that finger Sarah …

    1. Hi Julie. My four legged friend hasn’t been back since I concreted around the corner posts so I hope he stays away. Normally they aren’t too bad, but this winter they seem to have been bolder.
      We don’t normally see many frosts so I feel obliged to get out there in boost my stock of frost photos. (The things we do…) The finger is coming along fine – although I’ve been a little impatient.
      Have a fab weekend.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Elaine. I think the only thing holding me back from the garden now is the weather, but it is winter so I think I will be dodging raindrops more often than not.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. I can imagine your frustration at not being able garden as usual – hope your thumb gets better soon – and the dismay at seeing something had wrecked havoc in your greenhouse. What a pain – on several ways 😉

  5. Oh dear! Someone must be sending you a signal that you need to slow down and take a bit of a break – it was nice to see your next post! We loved New Zealand when we visited 10 years ago, though our adventures kept us on the South Island. I’d love to go back one day, it reminded me a lot of Nova Scotia (with bigger mountains and a few more sheep!) Mend quickly!!

  6. Lovely blog. Chicago must not have the greatest soil but you do your best. Where I lived we planted peonies and lilies but the lilies grew. No peonies.

Leave a Reply