Gardening where the sidewalk ends

On a Cold and Frosty Morning January 22, 2009

I don’t have any pictures of three crows sitting on a wall like in the traditional Scottish children’s song, but the scene yesterday morning was too pretty not to take a little time to stop and admire.

My parking strip garden has taken a beating this winter – I’ve lost quite a few plants to the snows and freezes, but others are still hanging in there and don’t seem bothered by an occasional coating of frost.


Volunteer euphorbia, transplanted from the upper garden. Not sure what variety it is, but I like the red stems it’s developing in its second year, and the shaggy heads make me think of sheepdogs who have been rolling in the grass all day.


My ‘Merlot’ lettuce was edged in ice. I’m not sure how tasty it will be after yet another round of chilly nights, but I grow it as much for its ornamental beauty as for taste, so that’s okay.


A neighbor’s ceanothus (California lilac) was stunning, cloaked in white. I have one of these back by the garage, but the neighbors’ is more mature and blooms earlier and more profusely. I hope these guys make it through the winter – most varieties are only hardy in Zones 9-10, although some are okay in 8 where we are. The bees love this plant and it would be a big loss if they succumb to the strangely cold winter we’ve been having.

I liked that shrub so much I had to take another picture, with my parking strip in the background. Do you have any plants that you are fretting about at the moment? Or are you taking a more sanguine, wait-and-see attitude and pausing your worries until spring arrives?



7 Responses to “On a Cold and Frosty Morning”

  1. Catherine Says:

    Everything does look pretty with a coating of frost! We had a lot of frost here again this morning. I’m hoping that my daphne buds don’t freeze and continue to open. Things seemed to perk up after the frost was gone though yesterday. They are mentioning snow again this weekend…
    I had forgotten about that song until you mentioned it!

  2. Melanthia Says:

    My Hebes! I think three of my six are toast! One was huge, too. Thanks for the post, maybe I’ll do a “Dropped Dead” post soon. I’m trying to think if we had as much frost yesterday; the cold days are just a blur. Looking forward to Feb. 7!

  3. Racquel Says:

    Plants do take on an interesting look with a coating of frost or snow. The bulbs that have emerged thus far in my garden I am a bit concerned with at the moment.

  4. Aerie-el Says:

    I love the frosty pictures! Beautiful to photograph, but tough to endure by thin-blooded PNWers and their (pushing the limits of hardy) plants!

    On a totally different topic…a note to Dr Destructo: YOU’ll be pleased to know that there is actually a day and an entire week devoted to Squirrel Appreciation! DNLee wrote about it, complete with pictures and video clips.

    I wonder if there is a slug appreciation day or week…


  5. Philip Says:

    Oh, that does look nippy!

  6. Jen Says:

    ooooh – I do love that Merlot lettuce. So pretty. And the sheepdogs. In the fall I planted some hollyhocks and hellebores that I haven’t seen weeks because we have so much snow. I also had two new “bugelweed” plants that I’m afraid didn’t have time to establish themselves before winter hit. It may be awhile before we find out! At least half a foot of snow still to melt.

  7. Daphne Gould Says:

    I love the frost photos though hope your plants survive it. Every year for the last few I’ve been trying to keep my hill hardy rosemary alive over the winters. It never lives. I’m one zone too far north for it to make it. I decided this was the last year of trying, so of course we are getting really deep freezes below 0F. I’m sure it is dead. I’ll have to look into keeping potted rosemary if I want it next year.

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