Friday, December 23, 2011

A Visit From Jack Frost

Midwinter Heuchera Marmalade
Frosty Heuchera 'Marmalade'
I know I'm a day late, but Happy Midwinter, everyone! You know what this means...going forward, our days will start to lengthen again! Granted, the coldest part of the year is still ahead of us (which luckily, for Portland, is not very cold). As a little Midwinter gift, we finally got a "hard-ish" frost the other night (I can only dream of one of those amazing Hoar Frosts that you see so often in gardening books). I only had a few minutes between the sun coming up and having to dash to work, so didn't get as many pics as I'd like. The above Heuchera looks better than it has in a's too bad they seem to struggle through summer, yet looks so nice during the winter.

Midwinter Rudbeckia
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'
I'm never sure here in Portland when our technical first frost should be...but I'm guessing that it's later than usual this year. However, we've had almost no rain for weeks, which means its actually colder than usual (due to lack of cloud cover).

Midwinter Eutrochium Amsonia Muhlenbergia
Euthrochium 'Little Joe', Muhlenbergia capillaris, Amsonia hubrichtii, Artemisia 'Powis Castle', Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'
I know, there isn't really any visible frost in this shot, but I was struck by how nice all the different colors seemed to really come together in this area this year...finally! Can you believe the Muhlenbergia blooms are still so colorful? I seem to remember last year they were more straw-colored by this time. I'm also REALLY liking the warm burnt sienna color of the Persicaria's really striking. Oh, and of course, everyone stop to admire the retina-searing green recycling bin in the background.

Midwinter Monarda
Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
While I'm endlessly fascinated by the strange seed heads of this Monarda, they are super-difficult to get a good picture of in my garden, being located halfway up the slope in the dead center of the garden. I carefully straddled a few other plants to get this picture...but ended up almost biting it when I tried to get down...I really must work on my dismount.

Midwinter Geranium Ann Folkard 1
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Amazingly, the Hardy Geraniums are still pretty much green...which pairs nicely with the leaves that have turned red. Love how the frost accentuates all the textures of the leaves. One of the 'Ann Folkards' best assets, it's rich, red stems, are more evident now that the plants have started to collapse a bit...such a great contrast to the leaves.

As we count down to Christmas, I hope everyone has a good Holiday travels and good times :-)


  1. Great imagery of all those plants under frost! Jack Frost has worn out his welcome here for sure, so please help him feel at home, for a long, long time.

  2. That first photo is AH-MAY-ZING!!! At first glance, I assumed it was an electron microscope rendering of a bacteria or something. But I don't remember seeing an electron microscope purchase on our Amex bill.

  3. Hi Scott,

    Lovely photos; I'm yet to get photos of a frost, so far our frosts have only effected cars as the ground is still warm enough so not to see it on the plants.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. You made winter look gorgeous. The Heuchera seems to be made for frosting. Happy holidays!

  5. The frost accentuates the shape and beauty of the plants. Lovely photos, scott especially the heuchera.

  6. Really you just got your first frost this week? Wow...How I wish I lived closer in. We had 25 in the garden a few weeks back. Thick thick frost...things all curled back in on themselves. Naturally nothing looked quite as beautiful as these photos...

  7. Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas, Scott! I love the red stems on that Geranium, very pretty. I often have problems trying to get out of strange positions I've gotten into just to take a photo. It's so awkward, good thing usually no one is watching.

  8. My favourite in your 2nd shot is that Amsonia and the golden highlights it gives to that very autumnal looking border.

  9. And a happy Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Very pretty especially the Geranium. We are finally getting much colder here. Nothing like it will be, but more normal here than it has been. Merry Christmas
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  11. Those heucheras have such wonderful leaves for frost catching. Thank you for doing circus tricks to get a close-up of Raspberry Wine, am going to go have a good look at mine to see if there might be a photo moment out there for me. Merry Christmas!

  12. Brrrrrrrrrr! Wishing you peace and joy at Christmas Scott and happy gardening in 2012 :)

  13. Frost always makes the best garden pictures.

    Merry Christmas, Scott!

  14. I am so excited that the days will become longer; that means starting seeds soon. Love the G.'Ann Folkard'. Scott, have a great Christmas and may 2012 bring you much joy.

  15. The sienna color on the Persicaria is awesome.
    Happy holidays.

  16. Looks cold & frosty, happy holidays!

  17. Lovely photos, Scott! We are getting snow just today! Merry Christmas.

  18. Scott,

    I love your frosty photos, especially the heuchera. The frost makes everything look magical. I love the Pacific Northwest.

    Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas.


  19. Beautiful pictures, Scott. Great photography seems to always include some gymnastics. Merry Christmas!

  20. I was here for the first time and i found beautiful frosty photos. I have a garden for my own and i love the winter in the garden.
    I wish you a happy new year and a good time in your beautiful garden.
    Greetings from Thomas Vollmert, Germany

  21. Desert Dweller: Thanks! I'm sure it has…it always seems like right about now is when I'm officially tired of winter :-)

    Norm: I guess it hasn't shown up on the statement yet, huh?

    gwirrel: I hope you get some nice, picturesque frosts soon…we have yet to have a true "killing frost".

    Hoover Boo: You're right, it totally does!

    Janet: It really does…it's so amazing to see the structure so clearly that way.

    Danger Garden: I bet we do benefit a bit from the "heat island" effect. Most things are pretty much blasted at this point…but the back yard is still mostly green…so odd.

    Alison: Hahahaha…glad I'm not the only one!

    Rosie@leavesnbloom: I just love that Amsonia…it's such a great plant!

    Elephants Eye: Same to you…hope you had a good one!

    Sunray Gardens: It's been SUCH a strange year, weather-wise, hasn't it!

    Barbarapc: They totally do…especially the new ones that are so heavily scalloped. Happy Holidays to you too!

    Anna: Same to you!

    Zoey: It sure does ;-)

    Diana: Me too…even with our mild winters, I'm itching for spring :-)

    Allan Becker: Isn't it great…I don't remember it being so rich last year!

    Why I Garden: Same to you!

    Diane: Lucky you! Merry Christmas!

    Yael: You and me both :-)

    Wife, Mother, Gardener: Hahahaha…it does indeed!

    Anonymous; Same to you Thomas…I'm hopping over to your site now :-)