Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Sun and Ice

It is very cold today – very very cold.  The garden is covered not in snow, not even in frost, but in ice!  However, the sun has come out and it is a lovely bright day.

I was a bit worried about going out to take some photos – partly for my own safety as everywhere is like a skating rink, but also because I was worried about stepping on my fragile garden.

Anyway as it was Foliage Day I decided to risk life and limb and hopefully get  some beautiful photos of the ice on the plants.

The rhododendrons and azaleas look lovely bedecked in icy jewels.





Low growing rhododendron

Low growing rhododendron

As does the Skimmia japonica


but I think the best dressed plant is Leucothoe ‘Scarletta’.

Fetterbush Leucothoe Scarletti

Fetterbush Leucothoe Scarletti

There are some plants that are looking very sorry for themselves and I wonder if they will survive.

A wilting Fatsia japonica

A wilting Fatsia japonica

This one is living up to its name!


Pritzelago ‘ Ice Cube’

And there are others that are in their element.

Pinus 'Mugo Mops'

Pinus ‘Mugo Mops’

The hairy-leaved plants should be OK,



And the grasses are holding their own too.

Uncinia rubra

Uncinia rubra

Uncinia 'rubra'

Uncinia rubra

The cherry tree was looking quite pretty with its ice fruit.

Ice droplets on ornamental cherry

Ice droplets on ornamental cherry

Winter leaves

Morning sun shining through winter leaves

Meanwhile even the bird feeders were looking frozen.

Frozen bird feeder

Frozen bird feeder

The chamomile path was covered in a sheet of ice, but Japanese garden was still looking good.

Japanese garden in winter

Japanese garden in winter

I think I have learn my lesson from this really cold winter and will be adding a lot more protection to some of my plants in future. At least we will soon find out how hardy they all are.

I hope your gardens are doing OK?



27 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Sun and Ice

  1. It seems that everyone wants me to feel cold. I was shivering while touring your garden, I do hope you didn’t get cold while you were taking these lovely photographs Annette. Leucothoe Scarletti looks particularly pretty in its winter dress! Thank you for joining in GBFD this month especially as you were putting your safety at risk!

    • Luckily I have some thin gloves that I can use when taking photos and the sun was out, so no didn’t get too cold. I managed not to slip too – actually I have just remembered some shoe ice grips I got for Christmas. I must give them a test run later.

  2. You certainly have had it cold and your plants are looking really pretty with their coating of frosting, especially your Skimmia and Leucothoe. I hope your Fatsia recovers the way that Hellebores do after a frost.

  3. Brrr. Even colder than here. But don’t the ice crystals make everything look so pretty, the Leucothoe especially. After last year’s mild winter I took more risks this year and ended up stuffing everything portable into the greenhouse so it’s chaos in there now.

    • The frost and ice certainly make good photos. Yours were lovely and so sharp. Does Mike use a tripod when he takes them? I always take one out with me but find it hopeless to get the right shot with the macro lens using it so always resort to hand holding the camera and then it is difficult to keep the right part in focus. Still our local gardening group has a talk on plant photography in March which I am really looking forward to.

      • Mike always uses a tripod, I prefer not to. Like you I just find it gets in the way. He does get the better shots though, I have to admit. A macro lens is on our wish list. That talk will be well worthwhile I’m sure!

        • Gosh, I thought you were using a macro lens for some of your shots. I hope you get one soon – you will love it. That is when a tripod gets really difficult though when you are up close and personal to a plant. I must resolve to use a tripod – it does make a difference to the photos.

  4. Hi Annette. The icy plants make good subjects for a photographer, don’t they? Enjoyed seeing your frosty foliage. I am unfamiliar with some of the plants and will have to look them up. Is Skimmia japonica at all like Daphne?

    • Yes, most foliage looks better dressed up in ice. I have never grown Daphne but it does look at bit like the evergreen shrub pictures on the internet. Skimmia is a very useful evergreen shrub with small rather inconsequential white flowers. It actually looks better now with the reddish flower buds. Some varieties now also have lovely red berries in the winter, but the one in my photograph doesn’t.

  5. Oh, you are having a rather cold time of it Annette. I think you’ve captured the atmosphere in your garden wonderfully and described the perfectly.
    The Fatsia will pick itself up – they’ve looked far worse in my garden (when I had them) and always battled their way through. I suspect it will look worse before it gets better though.

  6. We had a similar frost last year and really worried about our plants but all came back strong – amazing how resilient they are! Your garden is lovely with its ice, well worth the effort to photograph it!

    • Thanks – that is encouraging to hear. We have had frost before, but I don’t remember when it was so cold for such a long spell. We have snow too, but the plants cope better with that.

  7. That is encouraging – thanks. I can’t remember when we last had such cold weather for so long. We have often had snow, but that is actually not so damaging for plants.

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