Frost on flowers

by Adam Pasco

The past week has been chilly in my neck of the woods, but frost brings its own beauty to our gardens. It's an ephemeral beauty that melts with the rising sun...

Frost on Corsican helleboreThe early bird... gets very cold trying to photograph flowers in the frost. The weather this past week has been chilly in my neck of the woods, but frost brings its own beauty to our gardens.

Frost is an ephemeral beauty that melts with the rising sun, but last week thick fog kept it away to provide a real bonus for anyone tempted outside.

The freezing fog provided a ready supply of moisture that crystalised into a jewelled coating over stems, leaves, buds and blooms. Anything bold enough to stand in its way got iced, including the frosted Corsican hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius) pictured.

Without a photograph you'd forget just how beautiful these ice sculptures really are, but perhaps that adds to their appeal. Like so many treasured moments our gardens they don't last for long; like blooms that open for just one day; scent filling the air; the antics of a bee quenching its thirst on a nectar-rich flower.

You just need to be there and treasure that moment. Sometimes others are around to share it, but usually I'm alone, savouring every second.

But that's where my camera comes in. Now it's a moment I can share.

I admire the hardiness of those garden plants that don't shut up shop for winter but still put on a show. Every garden needs them or we'd be left with a deciduous desert with little of interest until spring.

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Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2007 at 00:00

Just to take up the bee comment, I saw my first bee of the year about four weeks ago! So glad we have a Prunus autumnalis for it to feed on.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/02/2008 at 22:51

You are getting very poetical in your blog. But I don't know what ephemeral means? can you help? Im very impressed with your photographs do you take them yourself?

Gardeners' World Web User 29/02/2008 at 15:05

In reply to the first comment, I say my first bee on the 3rd of Feb which is about four weeks ago too! I was really surprised as it bumbled its way past my face (literally - I had to take a step back to see what it was!). And now the forecast is for snow next week where I am (NW Kent)!

Gardeners' World Web User 29/02/2008 at 19:30

I enjoyed the hard frost on flowers,it is beautiful and I took some photos.I am amazed that my darling snowdrops spring back unharmed after being bent double for a week with the freeze.i took the best photos of two spiders webs trailing over a Thuja.They looked like the finest lace with white haw frost glistening in the high,bright sunshine,mwhoar.

Gardeners' World Web User 05/03/2008 at 14:08

I found a queen bee indoors on the weekend. She was really weak, must have been there for a few days. I took her outside and placed her in an open crocus flower in a clump in my mum's south-facing border. Ten minutes later I popped back to check on her. She had moved round to another crocus flower; she lifted her head out of the flower and looked me straight in the eye, her tongue still out, covered in sticky nectar, her back coated in pollen. I watched her take a big drink and then crawl under a leaf, where I presume (hope) she continued to hibernate.

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