Frostycrustygrasses

Pennisetum Orientalis ‘Tall Tails’ shining in the cold morning air

Pennisetum Orientalis ‘Tall Tails’ shining in the cold morning air

Again yesterday morning I woke up and saw everything covered under a thick hoarfrost. A real winter has started these days, they said it’s cold wind blowing from Russia… I looked out of the window and I think I saw a penguin for a sec, while drinking my hot cup of tea. He was running awkwardly in the grass garden. Then I think I woke up. Finally. Or maybe it was just Rudy finding a hidden place to do its morning things…

Amni Visnaga seed heads amongst stipa tenuissima on the right and gaura on the left (yes, I know they look alike but trust me)

Amni Visnaga seed heads amongst stipa tenuissima on the right and gaura on the left (yes, I know they look alike but trust me)

I couldn’t miss to take some photos, could I? The morning light shining through the dry flower heads of grasses, that chilly air that really wake you up and pinch your chicks… and I was late for work already.

Again pennisetum ‘Tall tails’, a pennisetum alopecuroides seedling in the background, panicum ‘Warrior’ and a few, bare, skinny branches of the birch holding its seed pots like precious decorations

Again pennisetum ‘Tall tails’, a pennisetum alopecuroides seedling in the background, panicum ‘Warrior’ and a few, bare, skinny branches of the birch holding its seed pots like precious decorations

Pennisetum incomptum ‘Purple Form’

Pennisetum incomptum ‘Purple Form’

I feel a little sad because I’ll have to cut everything back as soon as this harsh air from mother Russia will pass off. I reckon the garden still looks good, ok I have no flowers at all and the only green you can see is the one of the box balls by the pool and the hedge but textures, colours (somehow) and volumes are still holding up pretty good, I mean it still looks proudly like a garden and I am very happy with most of my choices, grasses at first.

Molinia ‘Heidebraut’ was a disappointment last summer but with her arching and subtle stems she proved to be a good plant and I had to change my mind. Molinia ‘Transparent’ has been a disappointment too the first year, now is one of the plant I wouldn’t give up

Molinia ‘Heidebraut’ was a disappointment last summer but with her arching and subtle stems she proved to be a good plant and I had to change my mind. Molinia ‘Transparent’ has been a disappointment too the first year, now is one of the plant I wouldn’t give up

Eutrochium atropurpureum (I prefer to call it Eupatorium though) looks like a group of tall, skinny, clumsy drunks, with white hair

Eutrochium atropurpureum (I prefer to call it Eupatorium though) looks like a group of tall, skinny, clumsy drunks, with white hair

I’ve decided I should cut everything back earlier than usual this year because of the warm winter we had and because I’m afraid the plants will start sprouting. Then the garden is going to look like a ground zero, I hope the bulbs I’ve planted will make their show.

Achillea 'Hella Glashoff' on the right is ephemeral and held up by some pennisetum ‘Magic’ stems, in the background there’s echinacea purpurea seed heads

Achillea 'Hella Glashoff' on the right is ephemeral and held up by some pennisetum ‘Magic’ stems, in the background there’s echinacea purpurea seed heads

Everything was bright white or sepia tone, here is Molinia ‘Transparent’ centre stage

Everything was bright white or sepia tone, here is Molinia ‘Transparent’ centre stage

Helianthus salicifolius seed heads look like little men fighting against something, with their heads down and punches up

Helianthus salicifolius seed heads look like little men fighting against something, with their heads down and punches up

I would not leave, why people does have to go to work? There’s loads of more exciting little things to do instead…

The car window had defrost and it was time to go, hell I’m late this morning too.

Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ stems look like little shap blades

Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ stems look like little shap blades

Still remember my adored rosa ‘Single Cherry’? Could you imagine I adore its bare stems too??

Still remember my adored rosa ‘Single Cherry’? Could you imagine I adore its bare stems too??

Muhlenbergia capilaris is like a frozen seafom, overwhelming the echinacea

Muhlenbergia capilaris is like a frozen seafom, overwhelming the echinacea

In other fronts, last week I put an ad online to give away the puppies because everybody kept telling me I wouldn’t have never find someone for them if I didn’t get a move (I wouldn’t…). Well after less than 2 days I had so many contacts I had to deactivate the ad. After a few days a couple came to see Luna and they wanted to take her away immediately. The girl is pregnant and they want a puppy to grow together with their baby… How could I say ‘no’ to the Sweethearts Family?!

The day after that another young mum with two daughters came and see Chico. They fell in love and wanted to take him away immediately. She had a big car and the children were sweet and polite… I think Chico is now having a drink from a coconut glass with a little coloured umbrella on it, sitting by some big swimming pool, with some slave cat refreshing him with a big fan (hell, I know it’s winter but he deserved some kind of ransom to whatever his bigger brothers did to him).

So there’s only one left.

I promised him to a nice guy that has children and a few dogs already, living with the family. He wants to train the dog for Truffle hunting. I think some training will do good  to the little one and then he already has a job. I am growing fond of Fiocco, so I told the guy to come asap and take the dog away otherwise I’m going to keep him. Ale wants to keep him more than me… I think they will call him Whisky. I don’t think it’s appropriate calling a baby after some spirit but it’s not my call. Not anymore.

I'm drunk of him

I'm drunk of him

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “Frostycrustygrasses

    • Ciao Loretta, hai ragione, per quello mi dispiacerà molto doverle tagliare a breve per la primavera… credo che le graminacee siano le perenni in assoluto più belle in inverno, le più durevoli. Grazie dei complimenti!

  1. Alberto, your grasses are absolutely stunning, I didn’t think they could look any better than they did in the summer, but they are transformed – you have converted me!! I especially like your Muhlenbergia and your Molinia transparent, they look really beautiful, I must find room in the garden here for them, then all I will need is the frost!! It must be hard saying goodbye to the puppies but at least you know they are going to good homes, one to be a truffle hunter, wow!

    • Hi Pauline, I have to warn you about molinia Transparent: it is rather slow to establish, so the first season it will disappoint you but then it is stunning. It doesn’t need that much room because the clump is rather small and short, then the stems could be more than 2m! The look is similar to stipa gigantea: wide but ethereal. Muhly grass is pretty slow too.
      Then all you need is frost… are you sure? Would you give up all those beautiful flowers of yours for a little frost? You know I’ve been thinking of you lately because I have a snowdrop (one) sprout. Only the flower, no leaves and it is so skinny it flopped down to ground. Disappointing.

  2. Lucky puppies to have you finding them loving homes. You could get a job writing puppy ads I think. I can imagine it is painful to let them go, but likely wise. I do think Whiskey is kind of a cute name too.

    You made the right choice about being late but capturing the frost pictures. I really love the last frothy one above. I never thought of how you will have to cut back all these grasses and perennials Alberto… though heaven knows I have been trying to set an example for you!

    • In fact I will have to follow your example and be a little Hannibal myself too, or I could water the garden with some gasoline and set fire to everything… No no, maybe I would kill the penguins that live there…

      Can we play the ‘Silence of the grasses’?

  3. Hi Alberto,

    Beautiful photos 🙂
    It sounds like you’re getting the winds that we have in the previous two years from siberia which caused huge amounts of snow to fall when usually we get 1, maybe 2 centimetres.

    I also have some frosty photos that I still need to post… Just need to find the time/motivation to do so!

    • Liz it’s winter, what better motivation are you waiting for? 🙂 I love your macros, would this be a good reason to make a post for me?
      I think we experienced the same cold siberian winds in the past. Italy is rather small but its climate is very different, for example the snow you were talking about covered the north west part of Italy (like Milan) and didn’t fall a single flake in Venice. Then the south has a kind of african climate, totally different from mine. This time the air’s coming from east so Venice is the pioneer who has to face it.

    • It is only a temporary and unnecessary sadness, they’re all going to have a good family and I have to be happy for them. Besides I am fed up of running after them with toilet paper in hand to wipe their naughties. I was having dinner last night with a toilet paper roll next to me: when I realized it I thanked God for no one seeing me and then I thought ‘those little monster have to go’.

    • I guess the ‘secret’ is the heavy fog we have at night. I bet you don’t have fog where you live but I’ve been impressed in seeing snow though.

  4. Alberto, I am sure I saw a koala bear on the Rowan tree outside our window this morning, or was it the grey squirrel. Perhaps I had too much of that Scottish orangey coloured liquid last night.Your Winter garden looks great and how refreshing to see that it is colder in your part of the world, at the moment that is.

    • You should try some italian sparkly white/red drink… You see strange things anyway but at least you don’t wake up with a hangover! The cold that was supposed to last until the beginning of next week has change its course and went to Spain, so today we had 13°C as usual (well as usual as this unusual winter I mean).

  5. Pingback: GBFD Phoenix Botanic Garden | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  6. Alberto, your images are always beautiful but these of the grasses with hoar frost are spectacular! I almost envy you, but then does the frost will make them go mushy and fall over? We’ve had frost but nothing like yours. Your garde is truely beautiful! Christina, my foliage post is rather different temperature wise to yours.

    • I’ve noticed! Well you have something spiky there, as well as me, haven’t you? 🙂
      Thanks for the ping. Sunday I started cutting back something, then I realized I needed a proper trimmer, which I lent to dad. We had a rather dry winter, so everything was still holding up very well. The rainy season here starts in february/march, when the grasses have already been cut back. I normally have no problems with mushy plants at all.

  7. Hello there Alberto, thanks to Christina’s post I have found my way here. I adore images of frost on grasses especially with morning light. I’d be sad to cut them down too but seeing new growth and bulbs appear would console me and maybe you too.
    Nice blog! I see by your links we have similar likes too. I’m now going to add you to my blog roll and follow you for a while 🙂

    • Hi Shirl and welcome! I’m glad you found me, so I found you! Need to spend more time on your blog and maybe steal some good tips to increase wildlife in my garden too! See you soon!

  8. Hi Alberto,
    Indeed, those grasses are just wonderful. Better in the frost than in summer, I’d say. I’ve been thinking hard about how I could use grasses in my garden – not easy, given the climate and the general wilderness that I like…. But I’m nearly there, thanks to you. But I do worry that all kinds of horrible things like nettles and willowherb will seed themselves among them….and I really don’t need more weeding.

    • Dear K, I can tell you have nothing to worry about. I’m not sure what you have in mind but maybe start trying with some miscanthus (they should enjoy your moist), needles and weeds don’t grow inside a clump of grass. About climate and stuff: grasses cover all the climates and conditions in the World, I bet you’ll find something suitable for Scotland!!!

      PS: thanks for your words about choysia (yes, ternata) I feel better now. You didn’t mention astrantia though, so I guess it is worthy and in fact I tried and ordered some bare root this year…

  9. Fa sempre piacere ritrovare bei giardini dalle nostre parti. Sei nella pianura?
    Ciao.
    Michele
    leparadisdespapillons.blogspot.com

    • Ciao Michele, è da un po’ che ti tengo d’occhio anch’io, il tuo giardino è magnifico! E quasi quasi mi hai fatto venir voglia di tenere qualche gallina… 🙂 Io abito a Santo Stino di Livenza, tu mi sa che sei dalle parti di Padova? Dovremmo approfondire…

  10. How did I miss this post??? I’m so jealous of your frost…we don’t get anything like it here in Portland 😦 Seriously, those arching stems of the Molinia are just stunning…so graceful. The Muhlenbergia looks unreal…so amazingly gorgeous. I would have been late for work, for sure, if I had woken up to a scene like that!

    • Scott, my problem is that I am regularly late for work…
      This frost is what probably kill my poor agastaches during winter, you may not want it in your garden! But I will try again with some agastaches this year, I can’t give up so easily…
      As I told Pauline molinias are a little slow to establish the first year but then they are such a beautiful plant, I’m planning to buy more this year.

  11. Alberto,
    I’ve heard on the news about the frigid temps in your part of the world. I hope things warm up soon, but I must admit — the transformation on your garden is beautiful. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: