Fitchburg, Mass. — A vibrant bed of innocent, unsuspecting coleus was destroyed last night, as the region’s first truly low temperatures wreaked havoc on summer annuals misfortunate enough to be outside.
Friday’s overnight low was forecasted to dip to 28 degrees, but Plantkiller Paysha Rhone neglected to follow-up on how low temperatures actually fell. “It was obviously really fucking cold,” she said, pointing to her shrunken, crispy plants. “I’m not the brightest bulb, but I don’t need a thermometer to figure that out.”
Rhone did move quickly enough, in a last-minute panic, to save her potted patio plants, which she moved into to her “basement of death” for temporary protection. She hauled them back out into the sun this morning, unsure whether the next few nights will pose a threat and, frankly, just unwilling to “let go of the whole outdoor plant thing for the year.”
Among the saved…
“It’s barely mid-October,” she whined. “I was hoping for that warm and muggy extended New England summer that makes plants grow to rain forest proportions. I feel cheated.”
Her complaining continued, as she bemoaned her inability to dig up her prized coleus in time, re-pot it and move it indoors, where — it must be said — it would probably have eventually died anyway from inattention and lack of adequate sunlight.
“It was just such a pretty bed,” she whined on. “Screw you, frost!”
Unfortunately, September in Fitchburg proved slightly cold and rainy, with October continuing along the same uninspiring trajectory. Rhone just hopes the early cold doesn’t mean another Halloween snow storm is on the horizon. “That was just ridiculous,” she remembered. “Killed everything but the petunias.”
Her inner Bostonian mocked her for her naive refusal to embrace the reality of where she actually lives. “Whaddya expect? We’re not in Florida,” her Bostonian said, wisely. “You don’t like it, move. Quit yer bitchin’.”
“Oh, and that cantaloupe you planted in late August? Are you on crack? Whatevah!”
Rhone’s mammoth climbing orange-blossomed thunbergia (summer 2012 MVP) was not completely destroyed, but looked a little sad and crinkly after the cold night outside. She has still not determined how the hell she’s going to get it inside and where she’s going to put it. She will undoubtedly screw around too long, over-thinking the whole matter until the plant dies.
Strangely, a lone begonia escaped the cold completely unharmed.
The begonia, a former garden troublemaker, refused to reveal the secret to its hardiness. But it did aim sharp words at its wilted neighbors.
“That coleus is a wuss,” the begonia said. “All big and showy and bright, with no grit. Suck it up. Fourth quarter!”