Suddenly Dennis - whoops, Nick! - danced in from the balcony (without the pink turban Dennis Thatcher wears in the film) and told me that the real Iron Lady had just arrived - it was snowing.
A half hour's panic ensued (still watching the film) until I decided that my pots would not freeze overnight, because the snow would temporarily protect them (the real tenders were already in our sunroom, it was the young hardy plants in pots that concerned me). In the morning, when I drew the curtains, this is the scene that greeted me. I was shocked - and then delighted, because a good fairy had brought all my plants into the house while I slept. Who says magic can't happen to adults? In this case the man of the house had worked the miracle in the wee small hours (still sans pink fairy turban).
The temperature doesn't seem to fall below 2 C° in our sunroom, so they are safe. Although I do have five rather small heliotropes and I was instructed as a student that heliotrope needs a minimum of 10 C° to thrive over winter. Make sure you try everything out for yourself. Here are the plants (below), all snug after a morning's tidying.
I really can't understand why the last succumbed this year. I've had it almost everywhere I've gardened and value it for the beautiful glaucous red tones of the foliage, as well as the hips. Everywhere else it's been as tough as an old boot, but not here. Try, try and try again ...
My 'Lady Hillingdon' bush rose that was rescued into a pot and grown on without the chafers for a few months also went back into the ground. More welcome are the newcomers, because there is no sad reminder of the passing of a healthy plant. 'Pierre de Ronsard' went into the Iris Garden and 'Abraham Darby' (left) will lean against a small wall on the edge of the garden. I hope that people who walk the village lane to the river will also enjoy him eventually: it sounds as if, with his arching growth and flowers carried on rather weak stems, his blooms are best looked up at. I haven't been able to sleep for thinking about this rose ever since I saw the picture of it on the banner of the blog called Roses and other Gardening Joys. Have a look for yourself - he's simply scrumptious. (Only a rose obsessive could lose sleep like that ...)