Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Frost Free

I once heard — and never forgot — that May 15  is our frost-free date in northern Virginia. For that reason, I don't put annuals in the ground until Mother's Day or later. This year I was especially careful, given our cool rainy spring.

So it was only last weekend that I bought begonias and impatiens — and even then, I hesitated. I potted the begonias on Saturday, but Sunday night's temps were expected to drop into the 30s, so I waited till last evening to plant the impatiens. They are tender things, and need the best start in life.

The whole exercise got me thinking about risk and how our acceptance or rejection of it shapes so many choices in life. I'm more conservative as a gardener than I am in other ways. I changed jobs at an age when many others might have stayed put.  I was willing to accept in life what I can't in horticulture.

Whether this was foolish or wise, I'm not yet sure. But I do know this: In real life, there are no frost-free dates.

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