Frozen Foliage Day – December 2011

Finally we had some frost this morning. Everybody in the World is saying this has been a weird year, all the season are confused, too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, blah blah blah… It’s true but sometimes it’s good to see some winter special effects in the garden and frost is the one I prefer (I hate snow). I like it more when it’s foggy at night and cold, so you find hoarfrost in the morning… I use to see it more often when I lived in the mountains though.

Frost not only makes beautiful crystals above everything but it also darkens some perennials and brightens up the grasses. I  love walking on crispy grass, feeling that dumb silence of ice.

As the sun rose, the frost crystals melted down and everything was softened and wet. The grass garden still looks beautiful to me, even without flowers. I’d like to plant some hellebores, they would be perfect but I’m afraid they wouldn’t be happy in summer, unless I’d plant them amongst taller grasses which provide some shadow in summer… I should give a try.

Last night, taken by a winter blue moment I started browsing the pictures I’ve taken earlier this year. I must admit I’ve been inspired by a post by Bridget from Arigna, she framed her best 2011 moments in one post. I think I’m doing something similar by the end of the year, I like it.

By the time I went upstairs to take a picture of the frozen grass garden, all the frost was disappeared. Shame.

I am very disappointed at the moment because of the first floor windows: we ordered them last july, they came by the end of september saying the manufacturer had failed, so we placed another order with another manufacturer. ‘It’s going to take 2 months’ they said: finally last week they arrived with the brand new windows, I was so excited… Shame they wrong colour. Frames were light brown instead of dark brown. I need windows made on size for this old house, so I can’t go wherever and just buy some windows. So we have to wait. Two months again. I feel kind of annihilated. I took the day off, that day, just to check on them mounting the windows but at the end I send them away very quickly… With the rest of the day off and nothing to do (we decided it wasn’t the case of going on working on the timber beams, as we were too disappointed) I proposed to go to the seaside. We’ve never been to the coast this year and it’s only 20 km away from home. We spend the day walking on the beach of Caorle, with Rudy. Collecting seashells and watching the sea. With the brains set on the ‘f#@*k the world’ mode. It’s been relaxing.

Back to the garden Ale went on pretty well with some tasks:

He set a boundary between the gravel garden, the yard and the rose garden. You see that straight line where the pebbles end, I decided to plant 5 green cubes in a row. I haven’t decided yet which plant I should use.

I received other 20ish bare root roses from La Campanella, yesterday morning I managed to plant 6 of them and put the rest on a big container with sand. I still have to plant more than half of the other roses…

As the walnut tree was almost dying because of water log last year, we decided to level the ground around it and dig a ditch to drain the water away from the center of the garden and possibly direct it to the (future) pond.

Ale would like to build another squared pool at the beginning (as you can see he has already decided as he dug more there…). I think it’s a good idea. This pond will keep us busy for a while, next year…

What else? Ah! Of course it’s foliage day with Christina @ Garden of the Hesperides which I am joining in advance this month (it’s supposed to be on 22nd), so I leave you with another image of the grass garden and an image of the frozen fields behind Cà Rossa, I have this view from my bathroom in the morning… It feels very chilly seeing it when you just got up.


15 thoughts on “Frozen Foliage Day – December 2011

  1. Hi Alberto,

    Lovely photos, even we haven’t yet had such a hard frost to render all the plants so pretty! Frost is very nice, and a pleasure to photograph; I don’t often see hoar frosts here because we’re so central to the city.

    It looks like you have plenty of work planned and I’m sorry to hear about the mix up with the windows! grrrr, it must be so frustrating having to wait so long.

    I plan on also doing a year review, if I find the time. Plus my laptop plug socket is playing up and I’m having to use my old one. I’ve backed up all my photos though, so it’s a case of moving everything from my external harddrive.

    • Mix? I’d rather use the term mess. Dealing with unprofessional people piss me off, really.
      Looking forward for your 2011 review! Good luck with your computer!

  2. Alberto, I love the frost in your garden…it looks so much like mine! Sorry to hear about the windows. it can be so frustrating when you cannot get what you have ordered. Your ditch can be made into a rain garden even if it empties into the pond. It is a wonderful garden to help with drainage and easy to do. let me know if you want more information since I have many of them. Buon Natale and Buon Anno!!!

    • Rain garden huh? This sounds really interesting! The problem is that it could be dry for months here in summer and I don’t feel like watering a ditch… Maybe I should study a little bit nature around me… Thanks for the tip!

  3. Hi Alberto, thanks for mention in your post. Frosty pics look amazing. I was amazed you had frost there. Best wishes to you both for a happy Solstice/Christmas.

    • Wow solstice! Days will be longer and longer very soon!!!
      Surprise I have frost? Maybe because you heard people saying Italy is like Africa but they were talking about economy, not weather! So don’t be surprised!!!

  4. Greetings Alberto
    You did the exact right thing, curing your disappointment with a trip to the seaside. The gardens are so beautiful in the frost. I can see why you and Ale are inspired to plan (and dig) toward next spring. Have a wonderful winter holiday!

  5. Wow! Alberto, the frost was heavy with you this morning. We had a frost too, but not as much as you. Your garden looks so beautiful, almost better than in summer if that is possible. The foliage post will be published on the 22nd, I’ve already written it and programmed it to go live just after midnight. Keep warm. Christina

    • The weakest link is spring in the grass garden. Next month I will trim everything down and the garden will look like the Ground Zero for a while. I’ve planted a few bulbs, let’s wait and see what happens.

  6. I’m so jealous of your frost…we so rarely get those picturesque frosts here (snow, ever more infrequently)! It must be so wonderful to look out your windows to such lovely views…and someday you’ll have the windows to equal your views 😉

    • Frost would kill all your beautiful agastaches, so kiss your hands not to have it.

      I’m afraid if the Mayas were right the World is going to end before I have my bloody windows mounted…. And I’m still sleeping in the living room.

  7. Your frost photos are stunning, grasses still looking wonderful, your garden is a wonderful advert for them. Hope you get your windows really soon, must be so frustrating for you.Wishing you a really happy Christmas Alberto.

  8. There’s no doubt that the more I look at your grasses, the more I’m considering becoming a convert – especially when I see how good they look in the frost. As for the windows – I think the Swedes are the only really reliable window manufacturers in Europe….but the shipping costs might be excessive to Italy (they are bad enough to Scotland).

    • Mr K. I’m going to change your mind about grasses sooner or later, I know.
      ‘chi disprezza, compra’ as we say (who despises at the beginning, buys at the end)

      I have a lot of swedish furniture in my house and despite what people says I like it and it’s reliable. I hope windows you’re talking about are not delivered unmounted… 🙂

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