Frosting Alert

We have been wonderfully wildly busy in the office- and yesterday when the day was done and the last package out the door, I settled into an Adirondack chair in the perennial gardens to enjoy the beautiful fall light at the end of the day.

When Jim came out to find me, what I THOUGHT he said was, “There’s a frosting alert.”

I was so very pleased.

Here the guy had been in a classroom all day trying to tame a bunch of feral sixth graders AND YET he was embracing his inner domestic goddess and was going to make us a cake WITH FROSTING.

I sat there completely content. What had been a happy day in the office followed by a happy time in the gardens was going to be topped off with FROSTING. I was hoping for chocolate.

Then he elaborated, “No Molly, what I said was there’s a FROST warning for all of New Hampshire.”

Adirondack chairs are not the easiest things to leap out of, but I was airborne in a nano second and on my way to the rest of the gardens to start covering the red shiso with season extender cloth.

Yes the shiso lives. Thank you all for your kind words about my desperate measures to save the shiso with plastic cups. The update is that the slugs learned how to climb up the plastic cups to the shiso but not before the shiso was finally about six inches tall and somehow not as tender or desirable a food source anymore.

Still, this hasn’t been red shiso’s best year here and that’s putting it tactfully, so every last leaf counts- all twenty of them……

Anyways, back in the spring when I wasn’t expecting such a rainy, slug infested summer, I planted the whole vegetable garden in a mandala shaped like a big daisy. And a lot of the daisy petals are these diminutive red shiso plants. Not the easiest thing to cover- petal shaped beds.

Nonetheless, it was a gorgeous clear evening as I covered the red shiso- it is always beautiful the night before a frost or near frost- it’s those clear skies that open the way for what Jim calls “radiational cooling” and what I call… well it is best not to say what I call it.

I was almost, but not quite too busy to notice how beautiful it was. I had Angels to plead with talk to, heaps and heaps of season extender cloth to pull out of the barn and all sorts of rube goldberg patterns to make with this cloth in order to cover every last plant.


It was this sort of thing everywhere. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a few years will recognize how tiny the red shiso is compared with other years. Tiny but determined.

Anyways, I got up at five this morning to go out with a flashlight to see what sort of situation I had my hands on- and it was a balmy forty degrees. OH HAPPINESS! This gave me a day to laugh at my silly frosting-frost misunderstanding and feel smug about having the red shiso live to grow another day.

Only thing is, twenty four hours later I was sitting in the same Adirondack chair, enjoying the same view when I hear the very same words again from the very same man, “Frosting alert.”

So I am off again now, back to the gardens to cover my teensy tiny red shiso babies. And Jim? I can only hope he is in the kitchen making that cake!

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