A Touch of Winter

Yes, we’ve had a few days with a touch of winter. We’re not really into winter here in Ireland; we don’t have the dramatic changes of season experienced in countries further north or in central Europe; it’s not something we want to experience but it is a good source of grumbling material, something to complain about.

Garden view to river frost (6)
This morning’s scene, crisp and bright, but very cold.
Garden view White Garden frost (2)
These frosty mornings give an unusual light, stark but beautiful
Garden view White Garden Shade Garden frost (3)
Looking into the morning sun
Garden view White Garden frost (5)
The White Garden, rather empty at the moment but ready to burst into life. 
Garden view to bridge frost (4)
My little bit of sculpture in the garden, highlighted by the bright early-morning sunshine. 

This autumn and winter have been remarkably wet – and this is in Ireland where rain is normal – and our garden is like a quagmire. Gardening has been impossible for the past while as even walking on the grass does damage. I have pruned the roses and have in mind to prune the espalier-trained apple trees as I badly need to reduce the number of spurs – for the last few years I have had an abundance of apples but all have been small, so less apples but of a bigger size is the hope.

Mahonia 'Soft Caress' frost
Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, the foliage clothed in frost
Abies koreana frost (1)
The cones on Abies koreana with their dusting of frost. 
Snowdrops in frost
Not everything looks well in the frost – these poor snowdrops have been bowed but will spring up again when the weather warms 
Hellebore on mossy wall, roadside, frost.
Also suffering this morning: a hellebore growing in a stone wall covered in moss. It will pick up again. 

This last week has given us a touch of winter cold, a few nights of frost and lingering cold days. Our garden faces north and when frost hits it is inclined to linger with the grass remaining white all through the day, the snowdrops lying flat on the ground and a little shiver of worry enters the gardener’s mind that they, and others, may not recover. Nature is resilient however, and all will be well. We are not inclined to grow many plants which might be considered border-line hardy as experience in our garden has taught us that they will not last with us and we are happy to grow those plants which are happy with us and with our conditions.

Melianthus major frost
Foliage of Melianthus major, frosted and catching the winter sunshine. 
Eranthis hyemalis frost
Eranthis hyemalis, Winter Aconite, frosted and glistening!
Echium pinniniana frost
Echium pininana is native to the Canary Islands and would prefer not to experience our frosty conditions but it was a light frost, and short-lived, so the plants should be fine. 
Pheasants on grass frost
Cold weather makes these ladies all the more hungry and they came looking for their food. 
Running pheasant frost
Easier to keep fed but also showing signs of the cold weather. 

Frosty nights generally lead to bright and sunny days and we have taken advantage of these to get back into our walking routine again – my Christmas flu has continued to sinus and throat infections and had kept me inactive for the past weeks. Yesterday, we have a 10Km walk on the Waterford Greenway and today we had an 8Km stretch near Dungarvan. However, hopefully, we will soon be spending more time in the garden – though there is an ambition, might even be regarded as a New Year’s resolution, to walk the entire Waterford Greenway, all 45Km, section by section.

Sunset (1)
Frosty days can lead to wonderful sunsets. 

Sunset (2)Sunset (5)Sunset (7)Sunset (8)

4 thoughts on “A Touch of Winter

    1. Tonight should be the last night of frost for another while – we escape very lightly, to be honest and very cold weather is exceptional. No snow to date and we might or might not get a day of snow before the end of winter. It’s beautifully sunny this morning and we’re heading off for a walk.

      Liked by 1 person

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