Frosted leaves of fennel

Merry Christmas!

Somehow I feel that Christmas has sneaked up on me this year. It has arrived stealthily, without the normal fanfare. I don’t feel at all ready for it – which isn’t really a problem because our Christmas is fairly simple. But I haven’t noticed its imminent arrival in the way I usually would.

It’s probably partly due to spending so much time at home and being less aware of all the Christmas items in the shops. Not going out very much also means not seeing the Christmas decorations in the streets as often. And, of course, there have been none of the usual Christmas get-togethers that help to get us into the festive spirit.

Even if I’m a bit later than usual in getting the house decorated for Christmas, the garden could look suitably festive if we get a bit of frost. Nature seems well able to create her own sparkle and drama in the garden as the frost turns the remaining plants into icy sculptures.

Frost makes something special of the simplest things in the garden. The top photo is of fennel leaves. Most of the other fennel plants have died back for winter. This one, however, is a young seedling and has kept its leaves for long enough for the frost to turn them to a delicately etched tracery of tiny ice crystals. To my mind, it’s much prettier than any indoor decoration! The eryngium below (sea holly) had managed to produce some very late flowers and they look quite magical with a thick coating of frost. The sun had reached these, so the frost had started to soften and would soon disappear. Part of the excitement of frost, for me, is that it lasts for such a short time, so you have to make an effort to get out and see it at its best.

I hope that you are able to find some magic in your Christmas this year, despite the effects of Covid. I think that this year has reminded us all of how important our friends and family are to us, and how much we value their company. I hope that it won’t be long before we can plan to see them all again and enjoy being with those we care about. Until then, please take care of yourselves and I wish you fun and joy over the holidays.

Frosted eryngium (sea holly)
Frosted flower head of eryngium (sea holly)

34 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Liz! Sometimes its a surprise to see what survives into winter. I’m glad it can change from year to year, so that I can take new photos! Hope you and Nigel have a lovely Christmas!

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      1. Our Christmases on opposite sides of the world will look quite different! We’ll be in Dunedin for a few days πŸ™‚ Hope you and your OH (and cats) have a lovely Christmas too πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment – reading it made me smile! It makes blogging feel really worthwhile. πŸ™‚ I hope that you have a lovely, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. Please stay safe too!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed them. πŸ™‚ I hope that you have a lovely Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comment Jude! I enjoy my photography and it makes me happy to be able to share it with others. πŸ™‚

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    1. I think we’ll all be trying to create as much cheer in our homes as we can this year – a good reason to go all out with the decorations! I hope that you have a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. πŸ™‚

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  1. Our species of eryngium is one of my favorites, but I never, ever imagined I’d see it adorned with frost. It’s quite beautiful. I did see frost for the first time last week; it was coating the fields about an hour or two north of me. It’s still too warm here for frost, so I’ll continue hoping, and enjoying your photos.

    A merry Christmas to you, too. I suspect there’s not a person in the world who’s not hoping for a better 2021!

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    1. The frosted eryngium was new for me too, I had been given them by a friend and this was their first year in the garden. I think we may get frost on Christmas morning – so I’ll have to get up early to see. You’re right, we’re all hoping for a better 2021 – I hope yours is very happy and healthy!

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    1. Thanks Shelly! Gardening feels so good – very calming and always makes me feel positive. The frost is a lovely bonus on a cold winter morning. πŸ™‚ I hope that you are staying well and happy – Merry Christmas!

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  2. Merry Christmas Ann! I agree, the Fennel Leaves look beautiful and would look so nice like that on a tree! We are having a rather quiet Christmas this year too – hoping next year is more back to normal! We are scheduled to have a hard freeze (28 degrees) on Christmas Night so that is a little daunting since we had no freezes last year.

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    1. Ah, Syd – can you imagine if you could somehow take frosted plants into the house as Christmas decoration – that would look amazing! I hope that the freeze doesn’t cause any damage and that you have a very happy Christmas. πŸ™‚

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      1. I know how you feel about losing plants in winter – sadly! But I still grow things that are tender or not really suited to my garden. (I just try to make sure I get a chance to photograph them before I lose them!)

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      2. I buy plants to photograph them too. I have some kinds I am terrible at keeping alive but I do have a philodendron that has been around since 2004. She looks tired but is hanging in there (sound familiar haha).

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