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Garden Club Tour Group

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Josh Contreras
Josh Contreras

A Touch Of Frost

Climate researchers have recently released alarming reports indicating that the thaw of Arctic permafrost has already reached record levels for this year. Although a sign of a looming climate catastrophe, many actors, from east to west, view it as an opportunity: the Arctic Circle is becoming more accessible for trade routes and resource excavation.

A Touch of Frost


So what is a frost? Put simply a frost occurs when the temperature of air in contact with the ground is below the freezing point of water. Of course, the temperature of the air can be different to that of the ground, so we have to be more specific.

One of my favourite types of frost is a hoar frost. These tiny ice crystals are formed in a similar way to dew deposition. As the surface temperature is below freezing, instead of drops of water a beautiful coating of ice crystals is left behind. One of the best places to find hoar frost is on exposed plants near unfrozen lakes and streams. The white ice crystals can also be deposited on the ground or found on other objects such as wires, leaves and even spiderwebs.

The story behind the designing and making of the blanket starts back in December of last year though, when it WAS cold and frosty. It seemed a good time to look for inspiration, when all around was immersed in Christmas themes, and I began by thinking of a colour palette for this new project.

Brighton, 1957: a sunny seaside resort with a sinister underbelly. This den of villainy is policed by the touchingly innocent Inspector Steine, who naively believes he wiped out all the hoodlums in the Middle Street Massacre six years earlier. Can long-suffering Sergeant Brunswick and keen Constable Twitten persuade him that a criminal mastermind is at large - and that the station's charlady, Mrs Groynes, might bear investigation?

MILA: Klig and I are tired of having to fix this wall year-after-year all by ourselves. So when I learned about you, I promised him that I would ask you to help me instead. Frankly, we hate having to fix it. We are angry at frost.

The problem is that I have to walk across the lawn to reach the bird tables, feeders and pond, and as we all know, walking on frosty lawns is BAD. Normally, individual blades of grass will bend underfoot and soon bounce back without damage, but when grass freezes it loses its elasticity and breaks, leaving unsightly footprints across the lawn until it gets growing again in the Spring.

So try to minimise your impact on your lawn on frosty mornings. Unfortunately, my lawn will just have to cope, as short of putting in paths across to the bird tables there is no way to avoid the damage. The good news is that it will grow back eventually, with no long-term damage.

I know we all curse the damage that late frosts can do to tender plants, but it does have its benefits too. A cold snap will improve the flavour of crops such as parsnips by turning starches into sugars, it will kill off pests and diseases, or at least stop them in their tracks for a while, and it will break down soil, improving the structure (particularly welcome for those of us with clay soil!). 041b061a72


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