Posts Tagged ‘frost’

Darkest hour

January 30, 2016 Leave a comment
Winter damage

Winter damage

This rose and rosehips are the very epitome of the destruction wreaked by Winter, the bloom all in tatters and the hips blackened and dessicated.

It’s Out with the Old and In with the New as the rosebush makes way for bud-break and regeneration.

But what a contrast with the beginning of Winter, before the frosts have taken their toll, when the hips are turgid and shiny and the roses have a faded beauty all their own.

I can’t say this decay makes me sad because it doesn’t. My mind is already leaping forward to the promise of new growth – and the pruning that goes with it.

It’s rather like the darkest hour being before the dawn.



June 20, 2013 3 comments
Oleander bloom

Oleander bloom

The oleander season is just beginning; this is one of the first blooms to open.

The altitude we’re at is a bit too high for oleanders to flourish because every year the frost battens them back, killing some.

But they still make a display, with colours ranging from pure white through ivory, apricot-and-cream, shell pink and pink to deep red.

Their smell seems to vary according to colour and even individual bush, but this pink one has a sweet, light perfume of vanilla and rose with a hint of coconut.

They don’t need much watering (although they appreciate it) and since the winter prunes them anyway, I don’t need to!

Freeze and melt

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Frosty trees and lavender

Frosty trees and lavender

Every spike of plant life was coated with frost last night, shining under the drive lights.

But in the morning the ice was slushy and this little light had a slipping cap of melting snow.

A cap of melting snow

A cap of melting snow

Rosemary in flower

January 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Rosemary flower braving the frost

Rosemary flower braving the frost

I haven’t been outside much lately owing to back problems, but I couldn’t bear to disappoint Joules any more.

He loves it when I venture forth, whether it’s to garden or just look round; he positively skips with excitement.

I found that the wild boars (probably, although it could be a particularly energetic porcupine) have dug an enormous hole in the bank where the garden slopes down, undermining a lavender bush.

Just above this excavation, I noticed that the rosemary, despite other flowers turning brown due to the frost, is producing pretty pale blue flowers.

If old wives’ tales are to be believed, that means my ascendancy over Clive (ha, ha) is still going strong.


December 12, 2012 2 comments
Frosty leaf

Frosty leaf

This morning was far from unusual.

There was ice on every bit of water there could be ice on.

And frost on every bit of vegetation on the ground.

There always seems to be some surprise, with frost.

Like this dead leaf, with all its structure brought into glittering evidence.

I’d like to make it into a brooch, or fillet it, or eat it just as it is.

It would be thin and fine and crunchy, I think – a real delicacy.

Little brown Buddha

December 11, 2012 4 comments
Two of them!

Two of them!

A while back Joules had the annoying habit, when I called him, of sitting erect, stock still, listening and watching, but not budging.

I used to say he was doing his ‘little brown Buddha’ trick.

This morning I wasn’t calling him, but there he was, motionless and observant, against the backdrop of the frosty hillside.

I was just about to take his photo when Kepler appeared and sat a few feet lower down the ‘dog path’ which winds up the hill.

He adopted exactly the same pose, so now there were two little brown Buddhas!

More snow

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The mountain seems nearer than the valley

Although the snow has disappeared from most places today, yesterday, first thing in the morning, it was quite thick.

There had also been a frost, so that every twig and leaf was individually coated with white.

In the photo you can see the balustraded roof of the blue elephant house (known as the mirador) with a rose bower in front and Monte Subasio beyond.

When there’s a thick band of opaque mist concealing the valley, Monte Subasio creates an optical illusion. It actually seems to bulge over the top of the mist and be so near that one could almost touch it.