Frozen Lace

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These well-frosted leaves belong to Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ (a black cut-leaved elder). I was captivated by the way that the shapes of the hoar frost imitated the lacy shapes of the leaves, giving a very decorative effect.

We rarely get hoar frost here. Temperatures don’t normally get low enough for long, but we had a very chilly period before Christmas. For several days we had hard frosts and then snow. It created a magical look to the garden, so I made the most of it and got out there with my camera.

This elder would usually have lost all its leaves by December, but the milder weather in the weeks before must have delayed its urge to shed its leaves. Some leaves, as in the picture below, hadn’t even changed colour but remained a deep blackish-brown.

Right now I am very happy that I have a large stash of frosty photos from last month to use here. It is very grey and wet outside, so the urge to stay warm and dry indoors is strong! There isn’t, anyway, a lot to photograph in the garden in January. (However there are always some jobs to be done whenever the weather is dry enough.) I’m looking forward to the time – not far away – when the new growth starts and the garden comes fully alive again.

Frosted leaves of Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'
Frosted leaves of Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ (black cut-leaved elder).