The first of the iron nights.


Iron nights are what we call those last nights with frost before summer takes over even the nights up here in the north. In this area they usually come the first week in June and normally I van say that we’ll get no more frost nights after that, until they return the first week in September. Nights will still be cool though but normally the temperature never drops below 10C (50F) all summer long. The nights rarely reach above 15c (59F). On very rare occasions it stays above 20C (68F) and we call those nights tropical. I think that happened one night last summer and last summer was unusually warm.


It's hard too see them in this photo because they were rather far away but I cut of big parts of the photo on the two last ones. I think there must have been around 50-80 cranes down there.

It’s hard to see them in this photo because they were rather far away but I cut of big parts of the photo on the two last ones. I think there must have been around 50-80 cranes down there.




I did cover most of what I thought needed cover last evening so nothing of the young plants died or got injured but a mini kiwi (or hardy kiwi) got badly frozen, too bad because it had flower buds and I think all of them froze. Strangely enough none of the perennial hibiscus or morning glories that I couldn’t cover seems to have been especially bothered by the frost. I will continue to cover the plants until I know the iron nights are over. 






I have a big wooden box standing in the wood shed and I’m thinking of bringing it outside, put plastic on the inside of it and drill holes to make sure water can run out from it. I got inspired by Joyce at Octoberfarm and her containers that are filled with both vegetables and flowers. I’m not sure if I should have vegetables in it because once it was filled with oily bearings. Even if there will be plastic protecting the soil and anything growing in there I might miss a spot and then the oil could get in to the vegetables. But then again, I have some pumpkins that soon need to be planted outside and I don’t think those are for eating, more for decoration. I need to empty at least one of my composts so that box would be great to use.


Most of the cranes were in the air when we reached the place where I had seen them.

Most of the cranes were in the air when we reached the place where I had seen them.




Lots of cranes in the area again and I guess these are the ones that still have no partner, I doubt the ones nesting would leave the nest both at the same time. I saw several “dancing” so perhaps new couples are being formed right now. We never came especially close to them but I did get a few photos of them flying by. 


My dogs waited paitiently while I walked over the half rotten wooden bridge to see if I could find any cranes still on the ground.

My dogs waited patiently while I walked over the half rotten wooden bridge to see if I could find any cranes still on the ground.





Holiday here today and this will mostly be a day of relaxing, unless I do bring out that wooden box. Soon I’ll watch Gardeners World. BBC sure knows how to make a great gardening program! Swedish television not so much. They used to but then they decided Design was more important than to actually know how to grow anything, nobody watched those programs 🙂 The one we have now is more about cooking, which is great if it had been a program about cooking but not so much about gardening I’m afraid. The few Danish garden programs I’ve seen is much like ours, the Norwegian isn’t that bad but they show that program on strange hours. I’ve never seen an American though, are they any good?


But all I could see was a goose and some jackdaws.

But all I could see was a goose and some jackdaws.




I’ve just had the last coffee I had at home so now it’s time to make some tea. I drank way too little at work yesterday so I woke up with leg cramps in the middle of the night. So I’ll also drink loads of water because I really hate leg cramps 🙂


Herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia) grows in the forest and is a favorite of mine. Closely related to Trilliums.

Herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia) grows in the forest and is a favorite of mine. Closely related to Trilliums.


Have a great day!

13 thoughts on “The first of the iron nights.

  1. we always fear frost until the first full moon of June, then we are safe, I’m not sure if there are American Gardening shows, I’m sure there must be, I know there a few Canadian ones but more BBC gardening shows for us here in Canada, the problem with the Canadian gardening shows I have found is that they talk mostly about Southern Ontario or British Columbia, Canada’s growing regions are so diverse, temperate, almost tropical in some parts of British Columbia to Arctic regions, the photos of your dogs is amazing, that one brown eye showing through is beautiful!Very clever dogs to let you try the rotten bridge, if you don’t fall through o they follow?

    • Hi Laurie!

      So You can have frost nights long after us if You’re unlucky. People living by the coast here in Southern sweden don’t have to think about frost after early May usually. We have the same problems with our garden shows, they only talk about the best growing zones and that leaves out around 90% of the population 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I did mean the whole of North America, otherwise I would have written USA 🙂

      I do like how it is almost impossible to see the dogs, just parts of them 🙂 Normally they would have pushed me off that bridge to come first 🙂 but today I tried to sound like a wolf when telling them to stay and it actually worked 🙂 🙂 🙂 They would never save me, just watch me slowly sink 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  2. hi christer! i am really enjoying my trough gardens so far. they are so easy to take care of. it remains to be seen how things will grow but so far they look good. it just makes sense that they should do at least as good as planting them in the ground. i think we are way past having anymore cold nights. i walked outside early this morning and it was like walking into a sauna. teddy hates it as much as i do! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!

      To grow in troughs makes it possible for us to grow much more tender plants than if we planted them in the ground. So I’m surprised that not many more does that! Some do but then they plant delicate mountain flowers or rockery plants. I’m thinking of having my a few tomato plants in mine and I’ve placed it in front of an espalier so the tomatoes can lean towards it.

      I have to say that I regretted not taking my winter jacket on our walk this morning 🙂 You would love our summers if it wasn’t for the flies and mosquitoes.

      Have a great day!

  3. HI Christer! I really enjoyed your pictures today. Those cranes are amazing! We have lots of geese here right now (the Canadian geese) and they are beautiful but messy. It is cute to see them walking around with their babies following in a line. Very clever! I put all my garden in on Tuesday evening. I have more room so I guess its back to the garden centre to find more. I think we are safe from frost now until at least early to mid September. I have a few containers that I have planted lettuce, basil and parsley in. So far so good! I would be careful of the box with the oily bearings tho. Pumpkins might be a good choice especially if you are not eating them. I am waiting for my raspberries to ripen now but everything is so late this year I might not get any till August!! Have a great day off!

    • Hi Dianna!

      Strangely enough almost all Canadian geese travel north during summer, very few stay here and one has a mate of another species. Haven’t seen those two in a while now. Most geese stay closer to the lakes still but as soon as their young ones are bigger they’ll all arrive to the fields again.

      I still have lots to plant and might even do another flower bed. To be honest I’ll only make that one because I have two nanking cherries that need somewhere to grow and I might just as well have flowers around them. On the other side I have three fklowerbeds that mostly consists of weeds now so I might just clean those up 🙂

      It turns out that this box wasn’t oily, it’s the wooden box I already have on the outside (filled with mostly broken pots and broken window glass) that is the oily one and unfortunately the good looking one 🙂 I will most likely start filling it up with compost either tomorrow or on Saturday.

      Have a great day!

  4. Hi Christer,
    It seems you’re a bit ahead of normal while we are probably a month behind. We had frost last night. Very rare in late May (although I remember snow in late May back in the). 1980’s). I went out the door in a sweater this morning because it was cold in the house and the weatherman said it was cold outside. As soon as I hit the outside, I realized the sweater was going to be way too much so I changed to a tee shirt. It’s still cold in the house but outside is nice and sunny and pleasant.

    There are garden shows in America. They run the gamut from very good to really awful. Victory Garden is probably the best now. It’s on Public Broadcasting and can probably be found on line. It’s been on the air for decades and has gone from showing how to grow a vegetable garden in Boston Massachusetts to really extensive and involved projects in all the Zones. It’s got a big budget now.

    Most of the modern garden shows are oriented toward design rather than actually knowing how to grow plants. Others are more upscale. They use expensive, decorative doodads, build pretty hen houses for exotic chickens and use motorized equipment for everything.
    P. Allen Smith has a show that is both good and awful. He, too, is all about design. He did a whole series on building a massive show house on many acres of farm land and showing how to bring the outside into the living space and the living space out into the “garden rooms”. He’s very big on English manor house formal gardens but he didn’t do too much of that on the country house. Just the city house. Yeah, he has two houses. He loves New Dawn roses. He must have stock in the company because he’s always recommending them for practically every application. 🙂

    Thalassa Crusoe is still my all time favorite gardening show person. She’s long gone now but she was no-nonsense and practical. Her show was called Making Things Grow. And she did. She didn’t like lawns. My kind of gardener. 🙂 Her show was on way back when Julia Child started her cooking shows around 1963. Her books are still available and I have several of them.

    Now you know a bit about American gardening shows. Probably more than you wanted to. You shouldn’t have asked. 🙂

    Enjoy your holiday.

    • Hi Caryn!

      Too bad those iron nights didn’t come early too 🙂 We have had snow here well in to May but it is rare thankfully. Last year was coild all the way in to June and that’s unusual too, especially since the rest of the summer was one of the warmest we’ve had in over 19 years.

      Motorized equipment are fun though 🙂 but we have very little of that in our programs and I can’t remember ever seeing it in British garden shows. I love machines but rarely use any, love to buy them though 🙂 🙂 🙂 I think I would like Thalassa Crusoe! Sounds like a gardener in my taste. The design nuts is just too boring and when You realise they most likely make money from something they always recommend it’s even more boring 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’ll see if I can find anything of Thalassa. Too bad that our growing conditions are so different but I still like to see a good gardener or read the books! Usually one can find things on Youtube otherwise almost all American programs are blocked for non American people, something about the rights to show it over seas.

      Have a great day!

      • How odd! A big part of what I wrote to You Caryn vanished when I posted it?? Now I can’t remember what it was 🙂

  5. Christer,
    The farming map usually has May 31 in this area as the last possible day of frost and planting can begin. Given the huge crowds at the garden store this weekend that didn’t mean a whole lot. I need my herbs and veggies and will probably get them tomorrow. I also need several pots and container soil for those pots. My clay pots are split and cracked but they did last a long while.

    My front garden is filled with blooming flowers and looks lovely. For that I am happy.

    Have a great evening!

    • Hi Kat!

      I’m not sure what our Farmes almanack says about frost but statistics says we usually have our last night with frost around June sixth. I’ll cover everything tonight again but it seems this might be the last frost night after all 🙂 I need lots of soil, pots I have too much of 🙂 But I’ll spend my money on things for the coming green house. I buy some every Friday after work so in a few weeks I’ll most likely will start building it! That might actually be a signb of the end of humanity 🙂 I’ve only been talking about this for four or five years now 🙂

      Have a great day!

  6. I burst out laughing at the picture of Bertil!! He is wonderful! What a great shot of him!! I loved both of them…
    I know cranes do a mating dance I have seen it in “wild life” films. It’s really interesting.
    Wonderful picture of the cranes..and woods.
    I do the same thing..just last night it happened. The leg cramps. We call them “Charlie Horses” but I don’t know why. Strange the way some things get named.
    Enjoy your coming weekend, Christer. Thanks for all the snaps of Bertil!

    • Hi Mona!

      Lots of mosquito bites that needs to be scratched 🙂

      Yes they do and when they find a mate they stay together for life.

      Too bad we don’t have a nick name for cramps in the legs 🙂 This time I knew it was due to too little water during the day but I get them quite often anyway. I wonder why this happens because there are so many other ways I’d rather wake up on at night 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

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