Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Foliage Followup January 2013 -- Frost!

I don't know if I can rightly call this a foliage followup, since I didn't post any pictures of flowers yesterday for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. The only plants flowering out there are a couple of sickly-looking supermarket primroses, shivering right down to their roots (like me, when I was taking these pictures).

In truth, the foliage would be completely unremarkable as well, if not for our frosty weather. The last few days have seen temps down in the low 20s at night, and struggling to reach the upper 30s during the day, even with the sun out. Frost is a great equalizer, it improves just about everything. It also provides a good lesson in micro-climates. Where does the frost strike worst? Where does it not strike at all, or just barely? And where does it linger longest, despite sunny days?

Oak leaves, hanging on

Callistemon subulatus

 Pink Muhly grass, planted this past fall

Seedheads of Panicum virgatum 'Blood Brothers" with frozen water droplets shining in the sun


Lavender and Carex testacea
Black mondo grass and Mexican feather grass

Geranium and thyme


Oak leaves and something prickly whose name escapes me (the tag is in there somewhere frozen into the soil, and I won't be reaching in to tug it out any time soon)

The back of a Heuchera leaf

Northern sea oats/Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium seedheads

Rubus lineatus

Yucca 'Bright Star" showing a touch of the pink edges it is known for

Frozen Lavender

'Fat Albert' Blue Spruce, with tiny frost threads in the needles

Agave ovatifolia

Agave americana

Wondering how mushy this will be when it thaws

Still with me? You stubborn, hardy soul.

Frost even improves the look of weeds...

...And twigs
Unfortunately the cold has done nothing to deter the dreaded string algae in the stream

I want you to know I struggled mightily against a semi-frozen brain to come up with plant names for this post. For some reason I wanted to call every grass Miscanthus, despite the fact that none of them is.

Pam at the blog Digging hosts Foliage Followup, on the 16th of every month, the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Its purpose is to celebrate foliage, the under-appreciated, minimum-wage workhorse of every garden.

Go there now to see her post on Yummy Yuccas and to check out the other bloggers who have left links to their own posts.


  1. These are nice frost photos. I haven't had much luck finding suitable subjects. But perhaps I don't go out early enough in the morning. I love the garden in winter. I recently saw another garden blogger call winter a black hole.

  2. I love your frost photos! Even your string algae looks nice. Is there anything that likes to eat that stuff?

  3. I know you are going to cringe when I say this, but I love the algae photos. The frost ones are great. You were right about the weed looking nice. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yikes!!! I love your bright star yucca! Looks a little chilly, but those pinky red tones that come out in the cold are wonderful!

  5. Frost in your garden is so much prettier than in mine.

  6. Love the frosty jewelry on all your foliage. You have a lot of beautiful foliage, too, well, except for that string algae!

  7. Beautiful frosty photos of your garden. Amazing to see frost on the agaves, even though we get cold enough for frost it's usually dry at the same time.

    The algae photos are great even though dealing with it is not so great.

  8. You must be suffering from winter brain....plant names are hard to come by at this time of year. :-)
    Frosty foliage photos are lovely!!!

  9. Thanks for braving the cold to bring us these stunning photos. You are gaining mastery of that new camera quickly.

  10. It's like a sugar dusting at a confectioner's shop. Frost does have a way of beautifying the winter garden. Thanks for sharing your lovely pics!

  11. What a treat to actually see frost covered leaves, and branches instead of just white snow colored lumps.

    We had only one day of real frost and then it snowed....and it never left.

    I love your shots, they warm my heart.


  12. Well at least you were brave enough to tromp out there and get photos. Not me. Beautiful photos too. I am thinking, I know what that plant is. I think it's an Echium. But I could be wrong. We've been socked in with frozen fog for almost two weeks. I'm ready for the rain to return.

  13. The bejeweled foliage is so lovely; how true that frost improves everything! Thanks for braving the icy temperatures to get these photos! I think my favorites are the ones of 'Blood Brothers', as well as the one of the back of the heuchera leaf.

  14. Hello Alison, your frost pictures are really pretty. I love how it adds a delicate filigree to everything. Is this colder weather for your area than normal? It looks like you and the new Nikon are having a great time, beautiful photos!


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