Monday, October 20, 2008

A Cold Frame!

Ken and I built most of a cold frame yesterday. We figured the lumber wrong, so ran out before we could get the last door made. But that won't take long once we get another couple boards. The things that look like orange buttons are roofing nails. We had a bucket of them left from when the roof was done, and they seemed perfect for tacking down the plastic sheeting. I've never used a cold frame made with plastic before, so we'll have to see how it holds up, and I don't know how well it will keep out the cold. So this winter will be a test.

I've ordered some sweet pea seeds to grow through the winter. I've done that before and had good results, but that was in England. It gets hotter here in summer, so by the time Spring-planted sweet peas get to blooming, they don't like the weather. I hope by starting out with over-wintered plants I can get flowers during the cooler part of summer, late May or June. We'll see.
I'm also wondering how pots of bulbs will do in there. Last time I tried to plant a pot of tulips in fall, the pots got frozen and the bulbs were destroyed. I might need to get bubble wrap if I try that. One more layer of insulation to wrap around the pot so the bulbs don't get frozen.

We bought some wild bird seed this weekend, so I'm hoping we'll get some interesting avian visitors soon. It will take them a while to find the feeder, as we haven't had seed in it for a long time. Partly because the cat figured out how to hide out of view below it and leap up to get birds who land on the feeder. I've actually seen him do this successfully.

You can see the perennials in my front beds hanging on in the cold. It's been chilly lately, with only light frosts. I think some of the plants actually like this and use the time to build up again for the winter. It will be interesting to try the "Chelsea Chop" on some of them next Spring and see how that works.

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