First Hard Frost of Autumn

Early yesterday morning, as Orion sailed high overhead and strings of bright stars washed the sky in spite of an almost-full moon, the first killing frost zapped gardens in the urban core of St. Paul-Minneapolis.  About two weeks later than the average date of October 7th, the first hard frost turned basil and impatiens to mush, bedraggled morning glories and hyacinth beans, and shriveled the last blossoms of Japanese anemones and toad lilies.  But one hardy bloom survived: a newly opened cluster of climbing ‘Henry Kelsey’ roses.  The rose faces south and grows next to our brick garage, which helps to shelter it from north winds.  The National Weather Service predicts nighttime lows in the upper 20s the next two nights, so the roses won’t last much longer.  However, their fresh, simple beauty was a gift on a gloomy, unseasonably chilly day.  To read more about Minnesota weather, seasons and related topics, visit Updraft Blog: Weather and its Underlying Science at

Rosa 'Henry Kelsey' (Canadian Explorer Series) survived the season's first hard frost.

Yellow leaves of an ash tree accent Rosa ‘Henry Kelsey’ (Canadian Explorer Series) blooms that survived the season’s first hard frost.

2 thoughts on “First Hard Frost of Autumn

    • Hi Linda, I have been very happy with our Canadian Explorer Rose, ‘Henry Kelsey’. It’s done beautifully no matter what type of winter nature’s served up. Some of the canes remain green all year. Early each spring, tiny, bright red swellings appear that will become the new growth. It’s wonderful to have an early sign of awakening life!

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