Frost

Frost on the bonnet of my car. How does it grow like that? Feathers created by a mysterious creature called Jack Frost. Water frozen in amazing patterns, crystallising into flakes or swirls or swooping spirals. Beauty in nature, patterns from tiny water molecules.

This photo is from a couple of years ago. I haven’t seen frost like this, this winter. We have has snow, and some passing frosts, but nothing to build up a deep layer of ice like this. I would love to try and draw it if it happens again, particularly when it builds up on the windscreen of my car…

That basket

I said I would post again about this hanging basket. I’m afraid the frost a couple of nights ago and minus 3.3°c put paid to the begonias, but some of the other plants are still going. Now they are covered in snow and more is forecast over the next few days…. I will see what it looks like whan it’s thawed a bit……

Jack Frost

Trying to draw Frost from my memory. Not easy. I couldn’t get the feathery patterns that it makes. Drawn in ArtRage oils. Working between metallic and non metallic white on a blue background.

I remember going to bed in the cold. The Frost built up inside the windows. Our breath condensing on the glass. I was on the window side of the room (I shared with my sister) and the curtains were thin and yellow. Behind them a wide windowledge, then wooden window frames with curly cast iron handles to open them. I’d look out on freezing nights and see ‘Jack frost’ on the panes. If it was really cold we were allowed to put the one bar electric heater on until we got in bed under eider downs and our school macs to keep warm under. I’d often sleep with my coat over my head. Breathe warm air on my hands and try and stop shivering. We only got double glazing to our n family home after I’d left for college I think….

Terracotta pot

Decorated terracotta pot from outside. Our money plant got too big so it’s in this enormous, heavy pot now.

I’m glad in a way. I love the flower decorations that are on the outside. If the pot was outside in the cold and frost they might crack and split if ice got into it.

I need to see patterns, if I don’t, if everything is plain, I get bored! I don’t know why. Some people like clean lines, simple colours, bare walls.. I don’t.

December hanging basket.

How is this possible. The hanging baskets are still alive and flowering despite a few frosts and cold winds. It’s not just one plant though. The flowers are still on four or five plants. Maybe they are so tightly packed that they are sheltering each other. I also think the flowers were not pollenated because of a lack of insects? I will keep posting about this till they wilt and die off.

Dying plant

Hubby ‘rescued’ this, but I think there is no chance of survival. Its a blackened mess of sagging stems. The result of a particularly cold night and a very tender plant. I’m afraid it’s going to be relegated to the compost bin tomorrow after rescuing some spring bulbs that have started to grow even before the winter arrives. I have even seen blossom on the apple tree a few weeks ago. Gardening is tough at this time of year. The day length and cold kill the annual plants and shut down perennial ones. Can’t wait for spring……

Backyard today

I’m still waiting, on the 3rd November, for my hanging baskets to get knocked off by the frost. October was the fifth wettest since the 19th century. And it was wet, and windy. A couple of ex hurricanes blew over us, the sky stayed battleship grey for a lot of the month. The wind makes our windows whistle and moan in the kitchen if its from the South West, and the noise moves to the front of the house if the wind shifts to the North East. That’s why the plants do well round the back, they are in a little sheltered micro climate. So I’m waiting to see what happens tomorrow… And not just in the garden!

The back yard, mid october

Despite the cold, wet weather the flowers in the back yard continue to survive. If we get any bad frosts I think they will go, but the sheer number of them packed together offer shelter to all of them.

So pleased we had the hanging baskets filled by a little farm nursery back in May/June, they have certainly been worth the initial cost. I go outside and am immediately cheered.