Tuesday View: The Tropics 11.1.16

As you can see from this Tuesday’s view, the weather forecast was correct and Tuesday night we received our first strong frost.  One night and the tropical summer was over… but for this part of PA the last week of October is a late frost date, so there are no complaints from this end.  It was a great year!

tuesday view tropical plants

No denying fall is here now.  The cannas are browned, the dahlias are blackened, yet even at the end of the season there’s still some color left.

You wouldn’t guess it but I did spend a few minutes cleaning up.  The mildewed Verbena bonariensis had been bothering me so those were cut down, and a few large blackened salvias and coleus were taken out as well.  For the most part though the rest will come out this weekend (I hope) as I dig canna and dahlia roots and pack them away for the winter, but I have to say even with less color it’s still kind of interesting.  I’m discovering things here and there which have been overshadowed by the annuals for the past three months.

chrysanthemum carousel

A bit tousled by this weekend’s thunderstorm, chrysanthemum ‘Carousel’ is still holding up to the cooler nights.  The green nicotina is also doing well, but the surprise was the fat clump of Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima… recently renamed though) which was hiding under the verbena I pulled.

Today I did go ahead and plant a few leftover snowdrops in the tropical bed.  The idea of early spring snowdrops sounds nice enough, but I’m pretty sure it will prove to be a bad idea come July when I want to replant all the summer visitors in the same spot.  “Oh well” I say.  Summer is a long time off and spring flowers are more fun to think of.

So as the season winds down here I’d again like to thank Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday view each week.  It’s been a nice run but I believe winter has most of us calling it quits for the season and our thoughts are turning inside and towards the holidays.  Not a bad idea at all, but I might still have another week or two in me, if only to prove that I really did dig up and store all those fantastic roots and bulbs for next year!


13 comments on “Tuesday View: The Tropics 11.1.16

  1. Christina says:

    Good luck with digging the Dahlias up. I’m too lazy to do it but I want to move some but I’m not sure whether it’s best to do it now or in spring.

    • bittster says:

      I bet it’s just as easy to move dahlias in the spring… assuming you have the time then!
      Mine are still all in the ground. Maybe this weekend it will happen 🙂

  2. I still have a few odd colchicums blooming (and looking nice) and some roses as well. The garden never dies all at once. Got my tropicals dug up yesterday during our unseasonably warm day and now it’s a matter of working down the carefully prioritized list to see at what point I think the next thing on the list is not worth doing, given how cold it is outside. Kind of like playing chicken with the weather, to see who quits first.

    • bittster says:

      I’ve played that game of chicken as well, and when it’s a long, drawn out autumn more and more things come in… but I’m trying to keep it reasonable this year. I have to since some of last year’s plants have become huge!

  3. rusty duck says:

    Well it had to happen. We should have our first frost too this weekend, if the forecast is correct. It’s been such fun following your tropical border, what an impact it made!

    • bittster says:

      The first strong frost is often a relief, and gives you a point to move on from, but I already miss all the color!
      There will be more next year, and honestly not having all the flowers to distract me makes it easier to finally get the fall bulbs planted.

  4. Cathy says:

    That tropical bed has been fabulous! Can you believe you had cannas and ricinus until the beginning of November?! We should be getting our first frost tonight – also later than usual. Have a great weekend digging! 🙂

    • bittster says:

      I didn’t dig nearly as much as I thought I would 🙂
      I needed to mulch leaves and plant snowdrops and before I knew it the light was gone. Maybe this weekend!

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    The fall chores begin! How do you store your dahlias?

    • bittster says:

      For storing dahlias I use a highly technical method of digging the roots, throwing them into either a plastic bin or shopping bag, and then tossing them into a cool corner of the garage. If they look damp I open the bag up more, if they look dry I close the bag. If they’re starting to sprout I find a cooler spot and try to let them dry out more 🙂

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