Summer-like temperatures forecast for the middle of October offer a temporary reprieve for flowers threatened by the first frost. A week ago, this killing cold seemed imminent, with overnight lows dipping into the thirties. But, with great relief, the critical degree or two colder was not reached, and now there will be toad lilies and asters for another week or two, and possibly into early November.
Certainly, frost is not such a dreadful conclusion to the gardening season. Though autumn foliage colors have been late in coming, Japanese maples and blackgums will soon show their brilliant displays. Some flowers will survive the early cold, and even following a freeze there will be blooms on late autumn flowering camellias and mahonias.
Heavy rains from a recent tropical storm and hurricane split east and west, mostly bypassing the garden, but at least ending the worst of the late summer drought. While the garden has suffered little, the lawn will require some attention so that it does not continue as the laughing stock of the neighborhood.