The cold finally came. It has been another unusual fall in that the first frost came weeks later than it usually does. Today, well into December, it is here. A beautiful sight, especially now that there is much more to observe: seed-heads covered in frost, grasses tipped in white, and hundreds of new plants. I invite you to stay warm inside and see what's going on outside at Chickadee Gardens.
We awoke to a hard frost, frozen birdbaths and hungry hummingbirds waiting for the sugar water we had kept inside for the night to keep it from freezing. Photo credit for this one goes to Facilities Manager who has the better camera. And some excellent skills.
This silly Echinacea purpurea bloom I featured a couple of weeks ago isn't giving up the ghost so easily. Its petals cling on, now exhibiting a raspberry sorbet kind of color.
Views looking southeast before the sun fully engulfs the garden. Silvers and greens feel colder that it was, some 26 degrees.
Besides being one of my favorite families of plants any time of year, these tough beauties, sedums, look extra-special in winter time.
A frosty view towards the southwest corner.
A miscanthus seed head. It was gifted to me unlabeled, so I do not know the species.
I have featured this plant recently, Eupatorium capillifolium 'Elegant Feather'. As it's still standing and looking quite dramatic, I must share.
Detail of the eupatorium (a kind of Joe Pye Weed) - I appreciate this plant more every day. I wonder when it will die down for the season?
Astelia 'Red Gem' shining in the morning sun, just breaking over the horizon.
Frozen solid. I think that it's time to break out the birdbath defroster - an electric and waterproof heating pad of sorts that keeps the temps just barely above freezing so the poor birds we've lured into our garden have something to drink.
Carex comans 'Frosty Curls' really lives up to its name today.
Acanthus spinosus leaves.
Cheilanthes tomentosa or wooly lip fern.
Yuccas always look stately, even more so with a silver blush.
Last two eupatorium photos for now, I promise. It's just such a monolith in the garden these days, one can't help but focus on it.
Even Facilities Manager got in on the act. Again, better photo than mine.
Cheilanthes sinuata or wavy cloak fern.
The sun clears the east field and turns everything from icy blue and silver to warm shades of gold.
Convulvulus cneorum or bush morning glory. This evergreen small shrub is one of my top 10 favorites, looking better than ever in ice crystals. The trick, I have learned, is excellent sharp drainage.
Fescue 'Beyond Blue' is shimmering in the golden light.
The dry river bed is feeling more authentic than ever.
Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius 'Silver Jubilee', an outstanding shrub. This one is only a year old, so not very large but I look forward to watching them grow over the years.
Just like the silly echinacea, this silly gaillardia or blanket flower is hard-pressed to give up the ghost.
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' still has structure even in December. I leave them standing for seeds for the birds and for visual interest.
The gaillardia seed heads are also quite showy.
Last but not least a lovely shot captured by the husband, a.k.a. Facilities Manager. He does pretty fine work, I must say. Here the golden light of the sun is drenching the property, slowly melting away our first frost.
As winter quickly approaches, we've been forced to slow down a bit and take it all in. I am thankful for mornings like this when the beauty of what we're doing really shines as it can be challenging to really appreciate it when you're mid-stream. I am grateful for the dry day, the birds and the critters that regularly come to visit and, of course, for my husband who supports my crazy gardening adventures no matter what.
That's what's happening this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting, we love to hear from you! Until next time, happy gardening!