Over the weekend I spent hours cleaning out the veggie and flower gardens. I always marvel at what survives a hard frost. Of course the tomatoes, peppers and most other veggies bit the dust a week ago when we got our first dip into the 20s. My marigolds died too, and they were scattered throughout all my gardens and beds.
What survived? How about these wild-type strawberries I grew from seed this year. The blooms AND the berries are still fine! With any luck, the berries will finish ripening in the sunshine we expect to continue to have for the next 2-3 days. The berries are small, with the biggest ones being about the size of the tip of my pinkie finger. But oh, what flavor! They are the perfect treat when weeding or watering or doing other gardening chores. I'm not sure if they will send out runners and multiply like I've seen domestic strawberries do, but I hope so. I'd love the flower bed to be full of them.
The Sweet William (foreground) is still a vibrant green. The Eunonymous is still growing - see it reaching straight up there just below the window? And the Hollyhocks look a bit tattered but are still hanging in there. This year I started both the Hollyhocks and Sweet William from seed, and they don't bloom until their 2nd season, so I'm looking forward to next year's flowers.
And the herbs - most anyway - are still looking fabulous. In this pot I have Flatleaf Parsley and Curry and a bit of Marjoram that can't really be seen. The Rosemary in the veggie garden is still perfect, but the Cilantro and Dill are looking a bit weathered. The chives and a few green onions are the only other things I'm still able to harvest.
I love this time of year, even though most everything in my gardens is either dying or going dormant. Fortunately, it doesn't all happen at once!