One morning last week, the garden was covered in white frost and the greenhouse held in an icy grip, for the first time this winter.
This was to be expected, of course, but it came with a sense of rude awakening.
Thankfully, most of the more tender outdoor plants had been moved under glass but apprehension ruled as I slid the greenhouse door to check them all out.
Once the benches are full of overwintering plants, any surplus, potted geraniums in this case, are placed on the floor away from glass in contact with the night air. It was a relief to find them none the worse for wear.
Surplus stock plants of geranium and streptocarpus that line the benches are covered in lightweight fleece which acts as a duvet, so they too were fine.
This was a typical example of nature firing a warning shot over our bows. Worse frosts will surely follow before winter’s through so I’ve since draped fleece over the peach tree in anticipation.
It’s entering a fifth year now, appears to have settled in well, seems tough enough and crops regularly – but let’s take no chances!