I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m sure it’s been colder than average recently. Since the end of November I’ve been regularly having to de-ice the car in the morning. I’m sure I didn’t have to do it anywhere near as often as the same time last year. Though that might have been because I used to take the train.
The outdoor staging has been cleared, with most on the plants now inside the greenhouse, leaving these trays to fill up with water and occasionally freeze. The staging is in shade for most of the day now as the light struggles to climb over the hedge so this part of the patio is actually quite cold and the surface can stay frozen for a couple of days at a time.
The Nomadic Patio Pot collection has completely dispersed and the pots containing the annuals were emptied of soil when I discovered they were full of vine weevil grubs. Those pots are now just sitting on an unmade bordered, ready to be refilled and planted with something new next year. While I tried to protect and shelter the larger terracotta pots, there are some that have to stay outside and suffer the freeze-thaw as I don’t have room to put them anywhere. I think If I up-turn this particular pot and put a trug over the top of it to keep the rain off, that should increase its chance of survival against the dreaded frost-shatter.
It’s a good thing the Trachycarpus Fortunei is hardy as its leaves have been regularly frosted, though being in the sunniest part of the garden, the frost doesn’t last long but it’s not always good to have leave defrost rapidly. The plant is still looking OK, we’ll have to see how it carries through the rest of the winter. I’m hoping that as I’ve planted it a little deep and it’s in a raised border, it will come through the winter cold and wet OK.
We have a several evergreen plants scattered about the borders and this inherited Euonymous is one of them. In colder weather, its leaves develop a pink tinge where there should be white edging. I think it looks very pretty. For the rest of the year, it’s just another forgettable shrub.
Just as with several other plants, we’re taking a bit of a gamble with this Coprosma. It feels like one of those, “accidentally evergreen” plants like Fatsia Japonica or Kniphofia, tropical, but inexplicably frost-hardy. We saw Coprosmas several years ago but held off buying one as we weren’t sure of their winter hardiness. We eventually succumbed to this one and we’re hoping it will be tough enough to get through the winter.
This Acer held onto its leaves until it had been frosted for the third of forth time. On cold mornings, frosted plants glisten as though covered in a thin layer of crystal or diamond shards, glittering flashes of reflected and refracted light catch the eye while moving about it feels special and exclusive, as though the show is just for me.
While I have a list of jobs I could be doing on these cold, but sunny days, I’m deciding to step back a little and let the garden sleep. I’ll potter a little here and there but there are no large winter jobs planned just yet. We’ve done all the bulb planting we can do this year and soon we will be battening down the hatches and closing off the outside as we head to the festive season and the shortest days of the year. I need to learn to make the most of these days as once the days begin to lengthen again and the weather improves, the garden will start waking up and then it will be back to having all hands on deck.