I never thought that I, a true blue Texan girl, would need to protect plants from frost. I stared down at my supple, manicured hands with french tips declaring that soil wouldn't be caught dead beneath them and wondered at my predicament. My job had just transferred me to north Texas from the southernmost tip of the lone star state one month ago when the sun still shone through the brisk October days. In the midst of unpacking and settling in, I had little time to ponder the welfare of the dainty flowers lining my sidewalk, greeting all that entered my little one story house in this upper middle class neighborhood I decided to make my home.
In the past, I'd always hired gardeners to take care of such details as mowing the grass, pulling weeds, planting flowers to make my yard welcoming and figuring out how to protect plants from frost so guests wouldn't have to walk through a flower cemetery just to visit me. However, this new job as an investment banker in a bustling metropolis full of cowboys left me little time to take care of such basic home tasks as hiring a gardener. I suppose I could have meandered over to my neighbor's home, with their immaculate lawn practically glowing with care, and asked them what service they used. When the movers where hauling the boxes from the moving van and placing them gently in my foyer (after many stern words from me that they do so) I had noticed a few burly men pushing top of the line lawn mowers through their grass and mulching their hearty shrubs. I filed a mental note in my brain that I must see what company they were before they left that day, but it was completely forgotten as I ran inside to once again tell my movers to stop throwing my boxes on the floor.
And now it was November with forecasts of frost threatening my little flowers and I had no idea how to protect plants from frost. After much deliberation, I decided that it wasn't worth losing my peaceful status of anonymous neighbor just so I could find out the neighbor's gardening company. So, I scanned the Internet to find what useful tips could be offered as a stop-gap measure until I could get a reliable gardener to do something more permanent. The first tip I read was, "don't panic." It's too late for that. I closed that tip sheet and opened another that could give me more useful information. As the screen opened to green blooming cartoon flowers and an overly enthusiastic smiling gardener, I found the answer to my problems. The title was, "Three Ways to Protect Plants from Frost."
Firstly, the article suggested I use sheets to cover my plants and keep out the cold. Obviously, the writer never had Egyptian cotton sheets. There was no way I was going to tuck plants into their garden beds with my heavenly sheets! The second suggestion was to scatter mulch around the plants to form a barrier against the frost. I sat for a moment trying to discover a way to mulch a garden without breaking a sweat or a nail and after reaching no solution, passed on to the next tip. Finally they suggested I make a makeshift greenhouse with bales of hay and an old window. This tip send me into a fit of laughter. The writer of these tips must have assumed that their readers were 65 year old retirees who lived on a farm.
With a sigh, I stood up from my computer, walked to the front window and waved goodbye to my little plants. With not enough time or desire to go through all the work required to protect plants from frost I knew that the best solution to my problem would be to let the little plants die and get to work finding a gardener to plant some new ones.