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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wintery weather has arrived

It was lucky I took a photo of that Lime tree in full leaf on Friday, because Saturday morning dawned bright and frosty, and no sooner had the sun hit the frosted tree than it literally 'snowed' down leaves for hours afterwards. So that was the end of most of the remaining leaves on the trees round here and now only leaves are left on oak trees, many of which stay on the trees all winter. I have never figured that out because some lose their leaves in autumn and some don't until the spring, just as the new leaves are budding up, yet they are all our Common Oak (Quercus robur). If anyone knows the answer, please let me know!

'That' Lime (Tilia) tree again just as the sun was hitting the tree tops.
Just a tad different from the photo on my previous post!

And so I braved the cold to get a few pictures of the garden looking all sparkly and pretty.

Seedheads of Spirea japonica 'Goldflame' with leaves of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in the background.

Garlic Chive (Allium tuberosum) seedhead.

These are Oregano leaves looking like they've been dipped in sugar.

I seem be to drawn to this Lime tree.....

..... and the same tree again looking in the other direction.
Sadly green plastic water butts are not very photogenic, but I'm not getting rid of it!

I still have roses flowering up against the side of the house,
although nearly all the leaves have gone.

The previous day I went out a bit later and took some pictures as the sun was hitting the garden. You have to be quick as the frost melts pretty fast - but quick is not a problem as my hands get so cold I can't stay out for very long, which is rather frustrating.

I was surprised to see how many webs were still on the Verbena bonariensis!

This is the time of year that my wiggly Hazel (Corylus avellana 'Contorta')
comes to life, once the leaves have dropped and the
pretty canes and catkins are fully visible.

A view up the garden showing the seedheads on the Goldenrod (Solidago)
still looking decorative, but on the right the late flower bud
on my young Yucca is never going to open!

In my recent post about autumn colours I mentioned my spindly ornamental cherry that I think is a Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella) - well once the pretty leaves had dropped I noticed the smattering of blossom on it. This is a common occurrence and whilst it's not something that you'd notice from afar as the blooms are few and far between, just to have some new flowers right in the middle of winter is something to cherish! Only a very few are low enough down to photograph - just like the beautiful leaf colour that was right at the top of the tree, so are the blossoms! 

Melted frost on Prunus subhirtella blossom.

The photo below shows how few flowers there are, and I wanted to show this picture of blue sky because (1) milder grey gloom is coming back tomorrow, and (2) it's a reminder of how the lime tree on the right (yet another one!) is growing into it, so some pruning of the lime will be necessary this winter. When trees are small we are desperate for them to grow, but when they get to a reasonable size, we want them to stop! Yet another winter job to do. :-)

I'll try to remember this colour sky!


  1. I know what the fruit of a lime tree looks like!
    May I first say you've taken delightful pictures on your strolls on your domain, Mandy? "If not, it's too late, it has been written", he said in a somewhat Biblical voice.
    Sugar and oregano should go quite well in a way, I think. I'm sure Jean MissLadybug Connor has a recipe! Some garlic chives might be added too! The melt drop petals remind me of those of the small hyacinth we had this late Summer, Mandy!
    You're absolutely right about human impatience and whimsical behaviour reagarding those poor trees. They will think it's all their fault in the end :-((
    I love this little Chateau visit and thank for your lovely cup of cocoa, just what I needed!
    I'm not getting into commenting on that wiggly hazle pic coming to life, Mandy!

    1. Oh you do make me laugh, Jan! Lime tree seeds are popular right now, it seems. ;-) And I don't mind that the leaves frosted and mostly have now dropped because it was starting to seem a bit wrong for this time of year! My OH has managed to collect them all up with the mower for making leaf mould which is a great soil conditioner, so they will continue to do their 'bit' for the garden for years to come.

      Actually I did get the cocoa out the other day, to make a recipe I found in a magazine. I overcooked it slightly so it was not good enough for visitors so I had to eat it ;-) but I'll have something else for you for your next visit. :-) Thank you, Jan.

  2. You certainly captured the magic of frost!
    Your pictures are lovely, Mandy!
    The garlic chives are truly delightful and the sunshine makes everything look so cheerful :)
    The Cherry blooms are really an amazing sight!
    Thank you for another uplifting and informative post, mon amie :)))

    1. Great minds think alike regarding the frosty pics, M-H! Love yours too. :-) I am sure you were enjoying the same kind of weather and it's all rather photogenic, isn't it? :-)
      Thanks very much my friend and thanks for visiting. :-)

    2. I could do with a cup of hot cocoa too (must be the Poirot influence! LOL) :)))

    3. Those Poirots! I have a veg patch full of them. I'll make some Poirot soup for you next time you and Jan come to visit ;-)

    4. We should set up a date, MH + MMM! :-)

    5. You guys are keeping me busy between here and 'there' and now you want me to join you! ;-)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks very much Detlef and thank you for visiting and commenting, it is much appreciated!

  4. Oh what a lovely morning photoshoot. Wish we had some frost as we just seem to get dark and wet days here at the moment. I always deadhead the chives (ordinary pink ones) - next year I'll leave a few to turn into seedheads as they look so beautiful in your pictures.

    Speaking about oak trees - I've noticed it on beech hedging too though I don't know the reason why they hold on to their leaves. I had to prune my witch hazel this year as I did the same thing and planted it far too close to a cherry. Now that it's back in flower I'm wondering if I pruned it a little too much lol

    1. Thanks very much Rosie! Glad I made the effort as it's warmer now and just grey and a bit drizzly.

      I've seen that too with beech hedges and I believe that hornbeam hedges also keep their leaves, whilst the trees don't. I think I'm going to have to google that one!

  5. LOVE your images! As I've said before, I'm so envious of your frost. It's not unheard of here so there's still a chance I might get a chance in the next couple of months and I'll be excited and happy for any little glints :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. So says the lady who has already been up in the snowline earlier in December! We've only had about 7 frosts so far which isn't a lot really for here. I just looked at your weather forecast for the week ahead and it looks like my dream forecast for summer - perfect gardening weather, not too hot! :-) Thanks Marianne.