Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Frost in my garden

It is the middle of winter, and we are experiencing some very cold nights.

I love getting up early and walking around the frost-covered garden to admire the tiny icicles that have formed on eucalypt and wattle leaves over night.

The vegetables get a decent chill, too, which improves the taste of some winter cabbages. Many people don't realise that you can actually grow vegetables all year round, even in the coldest parts of Australia. And we are talking of temperatures down to minus 8 degrees Celsius over night!

However, too much of a good thing can also be bad, and that also goes for frost. I have planted my winter vegetable garden in a spot that will quickly thaw once the sun comes up.


  1. Gosh Chervil that is a pretty severe frost. You must certainly live in one of the coldest parts of Australia if it gets down to minus 8. That would be exceedingly cold for here and we have central heating which I know you do not.

    I hope it gets warmer for you soon.

  2. Hi jmb, yes, I suspect we live in one of Australia's frostiest spots, I think only the Snowy Mountains are colder! This year it is particularly cold (a result of the La Nina year we are having). And you are right - no central heating, single pane windows and limited insulation (although our house is far better insulated than some I have been to). But it's ok - I hang thick blankets in front of the windows at night and we wear warm woollen jumpers inside.

  3. This is the first I have heard of frost in Australia.

    Your photos are wonderful and unique, especially from my vantage point in the northern hemisphere.

    Single window panes and no central heating, gosh. Hope you have a fireplace. I lived on a farm in Alberta through a bitterly cold winter with only electricity and a wood burning stove. It meant drinking something hot before bed to get cozy. I'd say spring is on its way to you, since fall is just around the corner up here.

    If you think it would help I could send you some window caulking to keep the draughts out.

  4. How little I know. I assumed Australia - I know it's huge - was frost-free.

    Calum, go and stand in the corner!

  5. Barbara and Calum, thanks for dropping by. Most people are very surprised to hear that parts of Australia get that cold. There is one big difference to winter in Europe and North America, though, and that is that on sunny days (and most days are sunny days), it is quite pleasant during the day.

    I often find that I have to heat the house at night and early in the morning, and once the sun is out, I can just turn the heater off. For that reason I have given up on my wood burning stove - by the time the fire is going well enough it is also warm enough outside - and as a result, it gets too hot in the house.

    We used to use small electric heaters, but I have finally realised just how expensive they are to run. We are now mostly using a small gas stove in the kitchen. It is not really enough to keep the whole house warm, but at least the pipes don't freeze over night.

  6. Yikes Chervil it hasn't got that cold in East London since I was born!

  7. Since we have moved we have had two or three good frosts. We are slightly further south and a bit higher than our last house. I think we had one frost in the five years that we lived in town. I had to get my ATM card out to scrape the windows, which the kids found to be very odd.

    Our house stays a lot warmer (less cold) at night than our last non insulated one.

    Roll on the spring.