Six on Saturday 2.2.19 Frost

The garden has been totally transformed the last few days. With heavy layers of frost over everything, some plants are visibly miserable. The fatsia is drooping over, but it will all recover in a few months hopefully. I’ve not been well so been off work, but under orders not to exert myself too much so no gardening. But looking out there it’s too cold to do many jobs. The ground is frozen. I’ve done the main pruning that currently needs doing so this week I’ve just been enjoying the beauty of the frost.

1. Hydrangeas

The hydrangeas have looked stunning with a sprinkling of frost over the surface of the browning flowers. I normally just trim back to past the flowerheads in Spring. However, they are starting to get a bit large. I’m unsure whether these are varieties that will survive a hard cut or not so I’m trying to read up on advice.

2. Cordyline

The sharp spines of the cordyline have a nice layer of fuzz around the edges. It’s days like this where you can see why they always get listed on great architectural plant lists.

3. Bird Bath

The bird bath has been freezing regularly. I have talked about this before but it is important to crack the ice or keep a ball or something to float in the ice to stop freezing.  The carpet of fur has a beauty to it but the birds still need water through Winter. Within minutes of smashing the seagulls were in.

4. Teasel

The already thorny teasel is looking good with one side covered in frost. The jury is still out on whether I’ll let it grow back again next Summer. It has looked nice and brought in both insects and birds but it has a big footprint of how much ground it takes up.

5. Sempervivum

The various sempervivums may not like the frost much but they do like good with an edging of frost.

6. Building work

The building work has been on hold for much of the week with the cold. They have been back a few days and we now have a roof. Though, with the cold, it would be nice to have the render back on to insulate the house a bit more.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six. I’m going to carry on resting and recuperating chilling with Alice and reading up on ferns as I plan for the year ahead.

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25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2.2.19 Frost”

  1. Like Paul, I agree with the beautiful pictures of the teasel!
    About hydrangeas, I would say yes about a hard pruning, with some inconvenient ones. Wait for the last frost and know that you will lose the flower buds of 2019 … when I did it for my H macrophylla, I cut only half to have the chance to enjoy a little flowering, and the second half the following year (“a big aeration” actually) It was a compromise. 15 years ago, my father cut down his hydrangea to the ground level . 2 years without flowers but it was gorgeous later.


  2. That’s a familiar dilemma with the hydrangeas. I have a few that if cut hard enough to keep within the available space will probably not flower. I’ll have to prune them, then it’s wait and see time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ve noticed it more this year with the builders going through the narrow gap. They are also normally covered at the base by pots but they’ve been moved for the builders so I can see there looking a bit leggy.


  3. I was hanging out the washing this morning before we went shopping and noticed that the Cerinthe Major looked lovely with the frost on the leaves. I didn’t have time to take a photo then (the bus was due a few minutes later and, when you get to my age, I just wave a magic card at the driver and he lets me on for nothing!) Unfortunately, when I got home, the frost had melted!! Too late… again! Interesting, Six again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s made for some great photos over the year but yes probably took up a metre square of border. The larges leaves do die back as the stem goes up so could then be under planted but a bit of an effort. But it should be self seeding all over the neighborhood now so I can enjoy it in other peoples gardens.


  4. The beautiful frost(ing) on your plants is like icing on a cake, and perhaps you were sorry to see it melt. Yes, the hydrangeas are some of the best shots, and you’ve received good pruning insights above. That’s what garden blogs are for!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the teasel with the frost on it, and also, the ice around the rim of the birdbath. Also your sempervivens. I have overwatered mine, and they’re very miserable, so I need to restart them in a part of the garden that isn’t irrigated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sempervivums are in quite large pots with a very gritty sandy soil mix so seem to do alright. About the only care they get through the year is pulling the odd weed out. I’m looking to make a small seating area on the lawn and might use the sempervivum pots around this rather than back on the patio after the building work is done.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely frosty photos here and I do like the teasels. I have an old hydrangea that has lived its life in a container. Usually I just cut off the dead flowers once it has started to bud again, but last year I went in hard and cut a lot of the internal stems right down to the base to open it out. I trimmed the outside stems, but not as hard. Had loads of flowers in the summer/ autumn. They are tough plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely frost photos. Agree with the others about the quandries of hydrangea pruning. What about taking some cuttings in the spring, they grow very quickly and soon you will have a smaller specimen to replace the big boys?


  8. The Hydrangeas still add a certain beauty to the garden even in winter.ARe they blue of pink flowers? Mine are all pink but I would like to get hold of the the’stuff’ that turns them blue.

    You are so right about the birds and I bet that gull has scared the other birds away. I call them sky rats. 🙂


    1. They are pink. I mulched them with bark the first year which gave them a blue edge but trying to change the pH is a massive effort and reverts too quickly.
      I think most of the birds are used to the gulls and stay in when it’s only one or two but every so often flocks of 10 or more come in and everything vacates including me.


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