Posted by Mary Small, State Master Gardener program coordinator
We all know that sometimes Nature can be downright cruel in the garden. Like most gardeners, I don’t like early freezes in the fall and late ones in the spring. I immensely dislike psyllid infestations on my tomatoes. But sometimes the perceived “cruelty” or “problem” can also be beautiful. So put on some rose-colored glasses for the next few moments.
|Webbing reflected in light|
Yesterday there was rain, hail and then finally a freeze last night in Fort Collins. (I never understand how it can be cloudy all day long and then clear at night - something seems wrong with that picture, but I digress.) It was obvious this morning that some annuals had bitten the dust. So I went out to take pictures of the damage for use in my classes and while doing that, discovered beauty.Look at the intricate webbing within these impatiens! I would have missed it if the plants weren’t damaged by the cold and still covering it up.
While unsuccessfully taking a picture of ladybug pupae on this tomato (see background) I found these water droplets being held aloft by the trichomes.
|Trichomes on tomato|
There were also a lot of water droplets on this geranium.
What do you think about these two “new” varieties of zinnia? I’m not sure why the damage(browning) appears in this pattern, although I suspect it has to do with petal maturity and the accompanying ability to withstand different levels of cold.
Next time there's a freeze in your area, take a few minutes to breathe deeply, assess the damage and look around with a pair of rose-colored glasses. I think you'll be amazed what awaits you!