Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Visit From Jack Frost

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' with an icy bonnet.

Well, it finally happened (although it seems earlier than usual for Portland), we got our first real freeze. I woke up this morning and the plants that pulled through the previous night's freezing temps seem to have, for the most part, succumbed to last night's freeze.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Remember my post a few days ago about 'Rozanne', well, here she is with her frosty veil. The plant definitely looks a little freeze-dried at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised if it springs back when temps climb again in the next few days. As you can see below, the leaves aren't blackened and shriveled, like many other plants are...I think their low-growing stature helps shelter them a bit, unlike, say, the Salvias, which are shriveled.

Geranium 'Rozanne' and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' foliage.

Heuchera 'Marmalade'

We get frost so infrequently here in Portland, I forget how interesting it can be on some plants, as seen here in the delicate picotee it bestows on a Heuchera.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and Verbena 'Homestead Purple'

I also like how frost can make me look again at plants I've sort of forgotten, or just gotten used to. Here, it brings renewed interest to a late-season combination of Verbena and Sedum.

Ornamental Sweet Potato 'Blackie'

Of course, we can't talk about frost without mourning those we leave behind, as with this once full and voluptuous Sweet Potato vine.

And then there are the surprises, like this little sprite of a mushroom I noticed why photographing the frozen matt of leaves in our parking strip.

Our neighbor's cat, who has adopted us, has the right idea on days like this.


  1. My Portland garden has just imploded. Any remaining coleus have gone kaplooey. Euphorbias are all shriveled up, looking as if they are shivering. I'm keeping in mind this cold blast may be blasting the marginally hardy plants, and also pesky bugs. No overwintering pests this year!

  2. I agree on the magic of that first frost - you look at things again with a fresh eye - love that tiny mushroom photo!

  3. Il neige aussi chez moi, premier frisson avant l'hiver !

  4. Hello, I thank you for the interest to my french garden and welcome you!
    I also wish to follow the news of your garden...
    You noticed that the latitudes were the almost similar !!!

  5. What a lovely cloak of snow crystals! Your neighbour's cat is so cute curled up like that!

  6. I didn't realize Portland is so warm that it rarely gets any frost. Frost laden plants always look like they've been dipped in sugar. :0)

  7. Scott, we froze our be-jeebers off up here in Seattle, several days without power and downed trees and record lows. Needless to say my garden looks like sauteed spinach.

  8. Hi! I wanted to let you know that the blog carnival "How to Find Great Plants, Issue #1" was published today and includes your post on Geranium 'Rozanne.' Thanks for participating!

    That little frost & mushroom photo is adorable. We found some similar ones on a hike a few days ago.

  9. Thanks everyone!

    LeLo: I hear you there, the garden looks a bit sad right now...although there are a few plants still hanging on, and thank goodness for the structure of the grasses. I'm praying all the nasty bugs and diseases (that's you, mister Powdery Mildew) were frozen dead!

    Cyndy:'s a little gift at a time I've started to ignore the garden a bit.

    Adiante: Thanks for visiting...that's crazy about our latitudes, I forget to look at that!

    p3chandan: Thanks...he's a sweetie!

    TS: It is a little weird to me too, we have a really mild climate and get freezes now and again, but generally it stays pretty warm during the winter.

    Tom: I couldn't believe it when my Seattle friends told me about the snow they got when we got nothing. I have to admit, I HATE when the power goes off, really reminds me of how much I rely on it...sorry about your garden, but hey, it really frees you up to look forward to next spring!

    Eliza: Thanks for the heads-up...I'll have to pop over for a look!

  10. Your photos mark the frost nicely, except for the Sweet Potato Vine which looks very sad and quite dead. We had our first frost/freeze on Monday, but it was thankfully brief and my tenders have survived to bloom another day.