Frosted leaves of Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

Frozen Lace

NB: A note for WordPress Reader users – you need to click on the title of the post again to see the full photograph. (Otherwise you see just a tiny section!)

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).

19 thoughts on “Frozen Lace

  1. From what you say, the blue sky in the bottom photo is a thing of the past, and pleasanter to look at than the grey available to you now. I see what you mean about the hoar frost imitating the shape of the leaves. In Austin, Sambucus nigra var. canadensis grows wild in some places. I know one about 3/4 of a mile from home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been grey for a while but mild – now the weather is getting colder again, so there’s a chance of blue skies. Elder grows easily here but that means we get seedlings of the wild tree sneaking in. We also have another bronze-leaved elder which has much plainer leaves but very pretty pink frothy flowers.


    1. Thanks Liz! This is the first time I’ve seen these leaves covered in frost. They’d usually have been gone too early, so a treat to be able to photograph them like this. πŸ™‚ (Unfortunately I notice that the WordPress Reader only shows a section of the top photograph!)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stephanie! It was also a rare gift to have these elder leaves still around to get frosted. They’d usually be long-gone, so I was excited to have this opportunity. πŸ™‚ (Unfortunately I notice that the WordPress Reader only shows a section of the top photograph!)


  2. The second photo’s the prettiest ‘black and white’ I’ve ever seen. I’ve always liked black and white combinations — cream cheese brownies, a little black dress with pearls — but I don’t remember ever seeing even a photo like this, where nature provides the black and white. I suppose trees and buildings in snow would qualify, but this is ever so much more interesting and attractive. I’m glad you had the chance to capture it for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hoar frost makes brilliant decorations for plants and in nature. So pretty. After the milder temperatures and all the gallons of rain, it’s back to sub zero here. Are you having wintry conditions again – freezing but blue shiny days?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had milder weather for a while but it’s back to the frost again now. It’s good to see the blue skies and sunshine – really makes me feel good after all the grey! πŸ™‚


  4. These are beautiful hoar frost images, Ann. We don’t get it often either, but when conditions are just right and everything is adorned with this frosty layer, one simply has to go out and try to capture some impressions with one’s camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not often that we get hoar frost, so I had to make the most of the opportunity. Spent quite a while out in the garden and was starting to feel frosted myself! πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.