The Coming Cold


The squirrels know. It’s time to store away and prepare for cold.

The Sacramento Valley has true seasons; it’s one of the reasons why things grow so well here.


But the overnight temperatures we are expecting this week can wreak havoc on sensitive plants and fruit trees.


True cold does not usually arrive until January, but this week we’ll see night-time temperatures in the mid 20’s..and that is way too cold for our newest orange tree. Planted in honor of the beloved Shelby, it should be well protected from the hard frost thanks to a special tent which lets the sun in during the day and keeps cold out at night.


Because the garden is on its own during the week, we just have to do the best we can to prepare it. This means we don’t cut our perennials way back until spring, with the withered leaves and stems providing some protection for the plant crown. We also ignore the blanket of leaves which serve as insulation until the danger of frost has passed sometime in mid-February. They also help to keep some moisture in with the water turned off.


Where do butterflies go in such cold?


The Dahlia bulbs have been tucked into a dark box and covered with vermiculite for cold storage in the garage. My favorites are labeled with gardener tape.



But we can pretty much say goodbye to these last hold-outs from the season. They have served us well.






Hello to winter grasses, pruning chores and dreaming of spring.


Good thing we have pups to keep us warm.


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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

4 thoughts on “The Coming Cold”

  1. It was a beautiful show this year. Time to rest now. You will have several months now to plan for new additions to the Golden kids garden. Will be looking forward to the springs new arrivals.
    I hope during the chilly months ahead people come looking for a warm Golden lovey to warm their hearts.

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