Thursday, December 08, 2016

Frosty Garden

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!

19 comments :

  1. I really love your ´crazy gardening adventures´, your frosty views over the garden are great. All photos are beautiful but the silly Echinacea and the silly Gaillardia ar of an outstanding beauty. Well done!

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    1. Thank you Janeeke! We love sharing with the world...a little nature to brighten everyone's spirits. Those flowers are so pretty, aren't they? Thanks for reading :) Stay warm!

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  2. I really, really enjoy your new home and garden story. Looking forward to more in 2017.

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    1. Yay! Thanks for reading and commenting, Valorie - we love sharing our crazy story with the world.

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  3. The frost and the morning light conspired to whip up a magical brew, which you magically captured. It is so easy to let these moments slip by.

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    1. They do whip up a magical brew! I was tempted to NOT go out and take photos, but I opted to forego washing of the hair before work to get them. The sacrifices gardeners make....

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  4. You got some wonderful frosty shots, and isn't that golden light just the best? It looks like it should be fiery and warm.

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    1. The golden light kind of blew me away. Combining with the silvers...kind of surreal, like an orange-colored-day kind of phenomenon - in other words, quite rare.

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  5. Gorgeous photos Tamara and David, you two make a good team. Oh and that Eupatorium (sp.) OMG! It's fabulous. Mine have gotten buried in the crams cape but I've got to find a place for one to shine again next year.

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    1. Aw, thanks Miss Danger. Eupatorium is finally on its way out with all the snow, I fear. Well, next year it may get bigger still. D'OH!

      Yes, if you have a place (hahah) give it some room...or not, they're nice as mellow exclamation points in the garden, too.

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  6. I love those frozen flowers! Your garden looks wonderful anointed in ice crystal glitter. An enforced break from gardening isn't so bad - in fact, it sounds rather appealing to me at the moment.

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    1. Thank you Kris! The flowers are fun. They remind me of sugared flowers for a wedding cake or some fancy concoction.

      I think I'll be ok with a break from gardening for a while, really!

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  7. Gorgeous shots! No need to make excuses for the eupatorium. It deserves multiple photos! I'll be interested to see how it looks after the frost. I'd really like to know when it dies down in a "normal" year, but this fall was so mild. If it's off season is short enough, I may have to try it myself. You really chose your property well. I would love morning sun like that this time of year, but the slope and surrounding trees just don't allow for it here.

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    1. Aaah, yes well - the ice and snow kind of made it horizontal today :( I did observe last year that it died down in a normal year about this time of year. In other words it hung on like crazy. If I remember correctly it emerged about March, significantly by May.

      As far as our property, I was pretty set on finding southern exposure with a slope and we got just that. Lucky us!

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous photos. You have hummingbird there at this time of the year? I thought they would all have migrated by now.

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    1. Thank you KL, that's very kind of you to say. Yes, we do have year-round hummingbirds, Anna's. They are quite a sight sipping nectar in the snow and ice. If I get a good photo of one, I'll post it for you. The challenge is keeping their nectar liquid this time of year (vs. frozen) as there are, as you can imagine, not very many blooming things from which they feed. I think we probably have about 10 or so living around our property, we adore them!

      The Roufus hummingbirds are the other ones, but they do migrate.

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  9. Jack Frost's artistry in your garden is stunning! Almost as impressive as all the work you've done on the place in the short time you've been there. Frozen solid? Brrr. We didn't get that cold but perhaps this week will be different.

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