Snow on anemone seed head

Cool Thoughts: Frosty Memories

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I’d like to thank Tanja Britton for the idea for this post…we felt that some of my frosty photographs may bring a suggestion of coolness to these over-hot summer days. (The temperatures are still higher than normal in the UK and, I believe, in many areas elsewhere.)

Snow is infrequent in our winter in Suffolk now, so the Japanese anemone seedhead, with its tiny cap of snow, (top photo) is a rare image for me. Frost is much more usual in our winters, so I leave seedheads to see if they will become interesting subjects to photograph. The frost can make something magical out of the most ordinary plant remains, as you can see from the photo below. The honesty seedheads were long past their best and getting very scruffy, but with a bit of frost and some sunshine, they’re suddenly delicate and attractive.

frosted honesty seed pods
The remains of honesty seedheads look much better after the frost.

Bronze fennel tries to take over my garden by spreading its seedlings everywhere but I resist the temptation to clear away the seedheads and I leave it intact for the frost. This plant never disappoints me when it’s frosted, and it can become most decorative, especially when the sun adds some sparkle.

frosted fennel seed head
A frosted fennel seedhead looks decorative in the sun.

If the frost is early, it can catch plants that are still in flower. The echinacea below was a new plant and had come into flower much later than normal. It was an unexpected sight one morning, to see it completely frozen through by the first frost. (It hasn’t happened to any of the echinacea flowers since.)

Echinacea purpurea – frozen through by an early frost!

A few flowers, such as the yellow winter jasmine, the pink-flowered shrub Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and this winter-flowering iris (below) have flowers through much of the winter. They look especially appealing with a touch of frost (although that shortens the life of the individual flowers).

winter-flowering iris
Iris unguicularis – a winter-flowering iris that frequently has frosted flowers.

I’m glad that the roses in my garden right now haven’t got any frost on them though! Zepherine Drouhin sometimes has a few flowers left just as the frosts are starting, so I always look to see if they’re in good enough condition for a photograph. Of course, when the frost melts, the flowers are left looking wilted and they won’t survive the damage the frost has done to the petals. But a photograph preserves the memory of them.

Rose 'Zepherine Drouhin', covered in frost.
Rose ‘Zepherine Drouhin’

20 thoughts on “Cool Thoughts: Frosty Memories

    1. I’m glad they brought a little bit of cool…but air conditioning is getting to be an important part of life. Temperatures are set to climb here over the week but not to break any records. Thank goodness!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That Echinacea is gorgeous! Having a white flower frosted just adds to the charm: double cool, in every sense of the word. What kind of temperature range does your iris accept? Having a winter-flowering iris seems strange to me, but your winters may be milder than I’ve thought.

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    1. I probably won’t get another chance to photograph a frosted echinacea – this was an unexpected surprise. πŸ™‚ The iris is Iris unguicularis, (Algerian iris) and it flowers in late winter. It’s hardy in most of the UK – down to -10C or -15C. You might also find it listed as ‘Iris stylosa’.


    1. I’m happy to have send a little ripple of cool your way, Tanja! πŸ™‚ Right now it is getting hotter again here – 34C is forecast for a few day. I shall be really, really glad when it gets cooler and whenever we get a little bit of rain!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s alarming to see how high the temperatures have got this year – and not just for isolated days. (Luckily for us, we were able to get a mobile A/C unit that has shown itself to be very effective and our solar panels provide plenty of power for it.)

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  2. Ooh, these bring back happy memories of cooler days (beautiful details of the ice crystals, incidentally). The heat today is ferocious (again) and all we can do is hide indoors and indulge in ice cream. Roll on, winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Winter would be quite a relief – but here we are heading for a day or two of up to 34C. Too much for me, so there won’t be much time spent in the garden. (But probably some ice-cream, mmm!)

      Liked by 1 person

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