First Frost in Our Lowcountry Gardens
There was frost on my roof this morning, but my plants do not seem the worse for it. This is a wake up call for what we should and can do to protect Tropicals and tender perennials. Many things breeze right through below freezing temps such as most perennial Salvias, Pelargoniums (Geraniums), Dianthus, snapdragons, and pansies. Tropicals should be brought under cover on a porch or inside a garage. If you have large containers, cover them with cloth. Old sheets work well although your yard will look like it is decorated for Halloween. Do not use tarps or plastic – plants need to breathe.
Now is not the time to prune. You do not wish to encourage new growth that can be nipped by the frost. The exception to this is dead branches and crossing branches that are rubbing against each other. Those can be pruned at any time.
Your Camellias should be starting to bloom. Sansanquas bloom first and then later in the winter, the japonicas will bloom. Prune Camellias after they bloom in the spring.
Tea Olive (Osmathus fragrans) can bloom for an extremely long time all through the winter months. Loquats bloom in January and February.
Rather than buy cut flowers for the holidays, see what you can forage in your yard. I always do foraged arrangements. I find that this is actually a beautiful time in the garden with seed heads, berries, and interesting stems. What fun to get the kids and grandkids involved as well.
Happy garden scavenger hunt!