Gardeners sometimes anticipate the changing of the seasons with glee; new weather means new tasks, a change of pace. But fall and its frosts are a little different. When a gardener is an artist, and the cultivation of plants is his or her performance, a cold snap could mean a cancelled performance season or even the death of your star attractions.
If you've been following the weather, you'll be pleased to hear the Gardens look good for Family Portrait Day today at Denver Botanic Gardens. Running from 10:30 a.m. on, families of any age or size can have their portraits from Colorado Photographic Arts Center in a beautiful setting. A limited number of spaces still remain; walk-in registration is possible. But the challenges posed by frosts do provide some opportunities as well.
With light frosts, one obvious one is to get those photos and portraits taken today, while the sun shines and the plants are still green. Photographers take heed: the changes in colors or the frost on the leaves can make for stunning photos at Denver Botanic Gardens or in your own neighborhood. Gardeners should take the time to understand their landscape and what was sheltered versus what was not. If you looked at the photos at the top, those are all from this morning. You can see the way both landscapes and individual flowers came through the cold last night. But that killing frost can't be far along (if it hasn't reached you yet). In Denver, our "performance season" is longer than many of our neighbors in the mountains. And a well-designed garden, planted with well adapted plants, can truly have four season of interest here. But even then, frost means change. And often its unpredictable (but see John Murgel's explanatory post from last week), so rocky mountain gardeners just have to roll with change that happens. There's clean up and cutting back. Perhaps salvaging the denizens of a pot you forgot to bring in. But take advantage of the return to warmth during days like today! It's a chance to learn from the landscape while you enjoy it.