Some perennials and warmer-climate plants will want to come indoors soon; others can see out winter with a fleece or mulch
We all feel the onset of autumn: that first day you wish you had a scarf, or the evening you draw up a blanket around you on the sofa; or instinctively move to the sunny side of the street.
It’s not just you – all those far from home in your garden are wishing they had a scarf, too. Globe artichokes, potted lemons, cannas, dahlias, pelargoniums, bananas, fuchsias, tree ferns and Melianthus major hail from warmer climes, and at best just about tolerate our winters; at worst they give up the ghost and haunt our springs with dead stems. All of these can take a few cold nights, but it’s the flux between temperatures, and wet and cold, that makes them sulk and then give up. No one wants wet feet that then freeze – it’s the quickest way to send the cells to mush – but while frosts come in many varieties, the killers tend to be those where repeat freezing is followed by rapid thawing.