Last Sunday the first frost arrived. It had taken a long time arriving, so I was pleased to go out and catch the plants with their winter coating before the sun rose higher and started to warm up the air.
I felt that this would be the last of the Hollyhocks but they have survived and have not given up the battle against the cold. Frost resistant Hollyhocks?
The roses are other flowers that shake off the frost with little damage.
The fuschia flowers and leaves though have completely succumbed and dessicated now.
Likewise none of the Savia survived and today I cut down the bare stems which was all that was left .
The frost on the Cotoneaster leaves make them look like a silver variegated variety.
The Veronica had the same variegated appearance but the frost did not damage either of them.
The best part about the frost was its effect on me. Going round the garden in the frosty morning set my biological clock into winter mode. The garden was behaving as it should in December and all was as it should be.
The frosty morning has given way to milder weather but I can finally feel that we are approaching the shortest day and it is really winter time.
The Mahonia is regularly visited by the bumble bees and yesterday it was warm enough to tempt a honey bee to visit.
The picture above is, in part, a set-up. I wanted to mention that the crocus have started to push through but I thought I might place the marbled newt (Triturus marmoratus) that was in the flower bed into centre stage. He is very amenable to having his photograph taken, or at least he has never complained. The damp warmer weather must be more comfortable for him. Sometimes we find several of them bundled up together to keep warmer in the winter time.
The late arrival of winter this year allowed me time to move and plant various trees and shrubs but now the garden is relatively tidy and I have no more plans for it until the new year,