We've had light frost for the past two nights as temperatures dipped into the lower 30s. I thought at first that the frost really had not done much damage but as I walked through the garden this afternoon, it was clear that all the tenderest of the plants are gone. Banana tree - gone. Cannas - gone. Porterweed - gone. Tithonia - gone. Several other plants, such as Hamelia patens, got nipped but still have some green leaves.
This was the first warning to plants to get ready for colder weather and many of them that had not already started the process will be shutting down now. By this time next month, the garden will be a very different place.
I welcome the change. Winter is coming and it will be a needed respite for both garden and gardener, a time to gather our energies for the busy seasons to come. A time when the major activity in the garden will switch from actual gardening to watching the birds and making sure their feeders are kept full. There's always something to do in the garden - even if it isn't strictly speaking gardening.