A Lesson From A Warm Wall



There is a lesson in this picture if anyone will heed it-

We have had two hard freezes in Nashville now. Two nights ago it was 24 degrees. Enough to end the basil season. Yet here, tucked among the dead stalks, are still green basil sprouts and shoots. How did this happen?

The answer lies behind in the brick wall which faces  southeast and traps every bit of sun and warmth. This wall kept some of the air around the herb at 32 degrees and held frost at bay-

In my old garden I had a narrow border along the south side brick foundation of my house. There, year after year, grew a Cockspur Coral Tree(Erythina Crista-galli). It went to the ground in winter, but put up 5 foot blooming shoots in summer. In this border I wintered over the tall Mexican cigar plant, Cuphea micropetala, and the purple bush sage Salvia leucantha. None of these plants are hardy in open ground here in Middle Tennessee.

But up against a warm southern wall that blocks the north wind but captures the sun, they lived for years.

Lucky the gardener with such a wall, for who knows what wondrous things might grow there!


About talesofanashvillegardener

Professional gardener, Experimental Cook. Constant Reader
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