Frosted flowers of Knautia macedonica

In the Winter Garden

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With January over, I hope that the cold will begin to ease. It feels like it’s time to get back to work in the garden, but I don’t fancy getting frosted when I do!

We haven’t had any more freezing mornings in the last week, so perhaps these will be the last of my frosty pictures for this year. I’ve been very glad to have the heavy hoar frosts around to give me something to photograph. They have made some very unremarkable parts of the garden take on a new interest.

Frosted rosehips
I’d normally have deadheaded this rose, but this year a few rosehips were left and the frost found them.

Some plants, like the Knautia macedonica (top), are generous in producing late flowers that are likely to get frosted. That makes them an obvious subject for me to photograph. But many of the other plants look much more ordinary until the frost decorates them. So plants that I might not have thought of photographing earlier in the year suddenly demand my attention.

The tiny yellow flowers of the pond plant below (Sisyrinchium californicum, aka yellow eyed grass) are long gone and have been replaced by its seed pods. The frost has turned these into odd-looking spiky growths, almost as if they’ve become some strange winter flowers reaching towards the frozen pond.

Frosted pond plant
Pond plant Sisyrinchium californicum takes on a different appearance when covered in hoar frost.

Sometimes there are non-plant things for me to photograph on a frosty day, like the spider’s web below. I can’t help wondering if the spider has survived the very cold spell – maybe it’s hiding in a warmer spot under some leaves somewhere. At any rate, I’m sure that any spiders and other creatures in the garden will be much happier when it warms up a bit.

However, since I began writing this, I’ve noticed that the latest weather forecast has promised us some very chilly nights. So I may have to be patient and wait a while yet for the warmer weather. (But roll on spring!)

Frosted Spider Web
Chilly weather for spiders!

23 thoughts on “In the Winter Garden

  1. As much as I enjoy your frosty flowers, that spider web is a gem. I suppose I’ve seen a frosted one before, but I don’t remember it. Usually, they’re covered with dew rather than frost.

    We have some yellow-eyed grasses here, but despite their common names they’re different genera, like Xyris or Hypoxis . On our USDA site, yours is called ‘yellow blue-eyed grass,’ and that made me realize it’s related to the blue-eyed grasses that I’ve recently shown. They’re both in the iris family, so it should’t be long before yours is blooming again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the first time I’d seen a frosted spider’s web, so it really caught my eye. I don’t know what happens to spiders in winter though.
      I thought it was probably related. They are very pretty little flowers and will hopefully produce a few seedlings. This plant is in a shallow part of the pond, but I think I may be able to grow it in the bog garden too. (An ongoing project…)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These pictures are simply amazing. I’ve seen quite a lot of snow and ice — at one point when I was switching from the Northern to southern hemisphere and then back, I lived in three winters in a row — but these delicate formations you’ve photographed are pretty rare in the places I’ve lived. They’re wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Robert! It puts a smile on my face to know that you have enjoyed my photos. We don’t usually get a lot of frost, and rarely this heavy hoar frost, so it was a great chance to get out with my camera for a few mornings. I don’t think we’ll get much more frost now, but the weather can always surprise us! 🙂


    1. It was something unexpected for me because I’ve not noticed spider webs at this time of year before – but an interesting subject for photography. It’s a lot warmer today and I’m off to work in the garden in the sunshine. 🙂


  3. The plants, as always, are beautiful with their crystal cover, and the frost really highlights the intricate splendor of the spiderweb. I also wonder about spiders and insects during cold spells, and whether they have a warm harbor to wait for warmer days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tanja! The frost is a real winter bonus for a photographer. I’ve been out working in the garden for much of the day and it feels very different out there now. Spring feels much closer, so that’s probably the last of the heavy frosts. (Hope I’m not tempting fate by saying that!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A hoar frost is a fantastic opportunity for a photographer. I remember venturing out when I lived in Ludlow to see what I could find (included a spider’s web). Your photos are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jude! The frost has given me lots to photograph this year – much more than usual. I think we’ll only have very light frosts now (there was a very light touch of it on the grass this morning). It feels good to be back working in the garden again!


    1. Thanks Jill! It’s amazing how some of the colours come through the tiny gaps in the frost. I used to do a bit of crochet, so I know just what you mean about the web – come to think of it, you can get fancy yarns that would look very like frost… 🙂


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