Don’t Walk On The Grass

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For most of this winter it hasn’t even been cold enough to stop the lawn from growing. It’s also been so wet there wasn’t a chance to get out and mow it. Then, on Wednesday morning, the quagmire turned white.

It didn’t last long. Above, the first weak rays of sunshine were already beginning to melt the frost.


Saxifraga stolonifera 005 Wm[1]


Saxifraga stolonifera


On a frosty winter morning foliage comes into its own. The fine coating of ice brings the structure of a garden to the fore, highlighting edges on a macro scale and adding texture to each and every leaf.


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Ice crystals cling to the leaves of Primula vulgaris


I’ve been rather neglectful of blogging over the last week or so, your place and mine, for which I apologise. I’ve been stuck to the computer working on a project to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully normal service will shortly resume.

I asked Mike if he would help me out by going outside at first light to get the shots for this post. The fact that it was so cold has nothing to do with it whatsoever, but you knew that of course. All went swimmingly until I asked him to identify some of the plants..


Geranium macrorrhizum 'Album' 005 Wm[1]


Some were obvious. Others, under their icy coating, a little less so. There followed much detective work. A retracing of steps based on the sequence of photographs on the camera. Mike, where did you walk after the Ophiopogon and before the Geum?

We think the above is Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Album’. Although by the time we came to go looking for it the frost had gone.


Fern frosty 003 Wm[1]


No doubt the fern fronds will soon be ready to be cut back.


Ophiopogon nigrescens 005 Wm[1]


Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ and winter heather


I’d intended linking this post to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day (here) at My Garden of the Hesperides, but I’m sure Christina will forgive an occasional photobombing bloom.


Hellebore frosty 003 Wm[1]


I couldn’t resist including the frosty hellebore..


Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' 004 Wm[1]


..or Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

This plant has been in flower continuously since early summer last year.


Sedum 009 Wm[1]




Skimmia japonica 008 Wm[1]


Skimmia japonica

But when all’s said and done, isn’t it really the sugar coated foliage which steals the January show?


Don't Walk On The Grass

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2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00January 22nd, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Christina January 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Your garden and its foliage look wonderful under its white overcoat; for the plants, it’s probably better the frost doesn’t last too long but it is one of the best things about winter. I certainly don’t mind a few frost laden blooms because in a way they prove the point that texture and form are more important than colour. Thanks for your contribution to GBFD this month Jessica, and keep warm!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Our winter, if that is what it turns out to be, was certainly brief. Back to rain now with a vengeance. But the ferns especially are not looking so good. When I can get back on the soil without sinking they will all need cutting back.

  2. Vera January 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Lovely frost pictures. Hope you kept wrapped up and didn’t get too cold!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      It still feels cold, even though the temps are back in double figures. It must be the damp. I hate winter.

  3. M. L. Kappa January 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    They do look good enough to eat! Lovely photos, pays you back for all the mud!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      They do! Sadly it was only a temporary respite. The mud is back 🙁

  4. pagedogs January 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    The frost makes everything look sugar coated and good enough to eat.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It does doesn’t it. But it’s amazing how quickly it all goes when the sun comes up.

  5. Rosie January 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    The frost makes everything look beautiful and the photos are wonderful:)

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie.

  6. Sam January 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Ahh I do love frost. It makes everything look so beautiful. These are very good photos. I particularly like the saxifrage and primrose close-ups. We’ve had frost here (we had none last winter) but it’s back to wind and rain today 🙁 Have a good weekend Jessica. PS Do you share a camera with Mike or have one each?

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      We share his camera but often take the photos together anyway. I compose and he presses the right buttons. He understands the technicalities of it far better than I do.

  7. New Moons For Old January 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous pictures and spirited commentary, as ever. Yesterday was the coldest morning here, everything frozen so hard. But the pay-off is the beauty, and the gorgeous dawn.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      The light can be beautiful at this time of year, especially on a clear day. Big contrast to today though when it never really seemed to get light at all.

  8. Island Threads January 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    nice photos Jessica, the frosting does make it all prettier, Frances

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      It was nice to have solid ground again too, however briefly. I hope you got through the latest storm OK.

  9. Backlane Notebook January 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Lovely and beautifully captured on camera.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks. I’m glad we did capture it, another month and it will be Spring. Such a strange winter.

  10. Sue January 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Oh it all looks so magical under iht layer of frost. He did well with those shots, it doesn’t matter to me what things are called it’s all about how they look. THAT’S why I’ll never be anything other than a vegetable grower 😉

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      You can be a brilliant gardener without knowing any of the names.. how it looks is what it’s all about.

  11. Sarah Shoesmith January 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Beautiful winter photos! You caught them just in time – that cold weather is already a memory and I am looking at what was once a hot border, but is now a lavender pond. I don’t like being cold, but frost is so much prettier than a garden under water.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. Even more so today.. you may not be the only one with a new pond by tomorrow morning.

  12. Charlie@Seattle Trekker January 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous winter photos; you have really developed such wonderful photography skills.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      For once the air was completely still… it makes a big difference when things are not wafting! Thanks Charlie.

  13. Chloris January 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I love all your frosty photos Jessica. Well done and what a good idea , sending Mike out to get them. I wish I’ d thought of delegating the job. By the time I’ d downed enough hot coffee to face the job, the frost was gone. Hoar frost is so rare here that it is a shame to miss it. Lovely shots.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      He said it was bitterly cold that morning too. Still, it wasn’t as though I was just having a lie in.. no sense burdening oneself with guilt about these things.

  14. Angie January 22, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    A frosty morning gives the garden another dimension. You are lucky to be able to rope Mike in to assist with photography when you are othwerwise engaged Jessica 😉

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      It’s all very pretty, it’s just a shame knowing that so many things will turn to mush once the frost is gone. They’ve done well to last this long I suppose.

  15. Freda January 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Oh beautiful! Those ferns! (It is back to heavy rain again here.)

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Ferns are looking a bit sorry for themselves now. And ditto!

  16. Cathy January 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Ah the lovely frost. Even when you’re low a frosty morning makes you glad! And he’s quite good with the camera, isn’t he?

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      He is. Even in the absence of artistic direction..

  17. Brian Skeys January 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Wonderful winter pictures Jessica, I know it is only a seed head but I do like the frosted sedum

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Seed heads really do take frost well. I am looking forward to being able to cut them back though, the garden is starting to look a real mess.

  18. Alain January 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    The frosty Hellebore looks very courageous to raise its head in this weather.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      They are tough cookies. It is one of the plants that just shrugs off winter!

  19. Linda P. January 22, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    A lovely post, Jessica. Our skimmia japonica is looking sickly, but it was stuck in a waterlogged pot until recently when the pot was heaved up and the water drained off. Your plants look beautiful with the coating of frost on each leaf. Love the ferns.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      I hope your skimmia survives Linda. I wonder how anything manages to survive in the conditions here, the soil is just so wet.

  20. Diana Studer January 22, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    no wonder my potted saxifrage is looking cross – we NEVER have frost here

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Many South African species do well in Devon and Cornwall. Especially my nemesis, the crocosmia. It does rather too well. Not even frost can kill it!

  21. Amy at love made my home January 22, 2016 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    It was lovely to see the plants all coated in frost wasn’t it. Beautiful pictures as always. xx

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Amy.

  22. kate@barnhouse January 23, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Wonderful images of frosty details, I just love these sorts of sights in the winter garden. Too rarely seen this year and easily missed, so thank you for sharing them.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Our only frost so far and in another month it will be Spring. Crazy year.

  23. Piddlewick January 23, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Absolutely stunning pictures! Wow! We’ve had similar weather here, but today seemed to have been released from the cold and frost (and we only just turned out water off!) Daffodils are on their way up now and the sun is shining so time to get outside. Spring is coming…

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Spring will come sooner to you, but I do still wonder if time is running out for winter. So different to what the forecasters had been predicting at the start.

  24. Jacqueline January 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I love the garden after a frost ……. everything looks so magical, as if touched by a fairy’s wand !! I just went outside to throw something in the re-cycling and noticed that tiny leaves have appeared on my clematis bijou …. I don’t think that’s meant to happen just yet ?!!!!! XXXX

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      There are many things that have started shooting, only to be knocked back. I’m trying not to look and hope for the best!

  25. SeagullSuzie January 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    We just don’t get frosts like that here, maybe it’s the aspect of this house as just down the road they had quite a severe frost and their gardens looked like yours. A very pretty collection of images and a good husband too!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      I had hoped that being on a south facing hill we’d be sheltered too, but I think we must be in a bit of a frost pocket. I have to take the weather forecasters’ minimum and subtract 3 degrees. That usually gives me a realistic guide.

  26. casa mariposa January 23, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Beautiful!! My garden is under almost a meter of snow so thanks for the sugar frosted photos. :o) So pretty!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      I hope it’s starting to melt. Or maybe that’s worse? We’re now getting the remains of the same storm, except here it’s coming down as rain. And how!

  27. FlowerAlley January 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Ooh that Skimmia! Good teamwork on this one.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply


  28. Kris P January 24, 2016 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Gorgeous photos! Here, frost is virtually a foreign concept, occasionally mentioned in news reports when orange groves and the like are threatened but seldom witnessed in one’s own garden. I haven’t seen frost for at least 10 years but, on the odd occasion this it’s occurred, it usually leaves our mostly tender plants a pile of misshapen black mush. I hope your plants fare better!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Some of the more tender specimens go that way. I can’t resist pushing the boundaries and, as always, the frost comes along and gives me what for.

  29. Amy January 24, 2016 at 5:28 am - Reply

    Some perfectly gorgeous photographs – Mike did a fine job indeed. Isn’t it funny how quickly a plant becomes unrecognisable in different conditions? I hope your garden is all the happier for its sugar coat 🙂

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      I’d sown some seeds that need a winter chill to break their dormancy. I don’t know whether one night will be enough, but it’s better than none at all!

  30. Joanne January 24, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Lovely frosty photos, my lawn desperately needs a cut but it is just so wet x

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      After this latest lot of rain it’s going to be a lot worse. I dread to think how long it will take for it all to dry out.

  31. Jackie January 24, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Just need to add my admiration for the photography to all the comments above, loved that hellebore.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jackie. The hellebore was gorgeous and, even better, it has come through completely unscathed. In fact there are twice as many blooms open now!

  32. bittster January 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Also love the photos, good job Mike!
    Hope your schedule clears soon. This weather won’t last forever and there will be buds bursting in no time at all 🙂

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      I can’t believe a month of this year has gone already. Where does the time go?

  33. germac4 January 25, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Lovely frosty photos, some of the plants look like sculptures in the garden.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Frozen in time, just like a sculpture. Thanks Gerrie.

  34. Pauline January 25, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Super photos, you certainly had more frost than we did! Frost certainly adds extra beauty to the garden at a time of year when we need it.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      I’ve a way to go to get a garden that looks beautiful in winter. It needs more structure perhaps, but like everything else it’s a balancing act if it is to work with the setting. The low hedge around the lawn should help when it is planted.

  35. frayed at the edge January 25, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Lovely frosty pictures! Your title reminded me of years ago, when we lived in Hampshire. The little boy across the road started walking up and down the large area of grass in front of his house, creating patterns – I quickly pointed out to his Mum that it would damage the grass, but she thought he was awfully cute doing it. Well, it took the grass a long time to recover from the damage!!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      We did manage to keep off the lawn, although the high percentage of moss would probably have sustained it!

  36. snowbird January 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Jack certainly does paint some pretty pictures in the garden, looks like he had plenty of material to work with. I like your style sending Mike out. Way to go gal!xxx

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      He may be more reluctant next time!

  37. ontheedgegardening January 25, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    I especially love the frosty ferns!

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      I love ferns, frosty or otherwise. I notice they’re back growing high up on tree branches. It makes the place look primeval.

  38. Anny January 26, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica, I don’t know how but I’ve been missing your posts – still, here now! FANTASTIC photos – I love frosty pics, of course they’re incredibly beautiful, but something about the twinkliness also appeals to the child in me – stay warm x

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      We value them all the more these days for frost being so rare. It’s so hard to capture that twinkliness. I see it, but when I look at the picture it has rarely come out.

  39. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD January 26, 2016 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Mike did a great job on the photos! That kind of frosty coating is something that does not happen here too much. I think it is related to moisture content in the air. Whenever it does occur I always make sure we get a few photos because plants are particularly beautiful in that state.

    • Jessica January 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      I’m sure you’re right about moisture, it’s so very damp here. Perhaps the proximity of the river at the bottom of the valley, in addition to all the rain.

  40. Peter/Outlaw January 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Jack Frost’s artistry really transforms foliage into something even more magical! Great shots!

    • Jessica January 29, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply

      It certainly does. All the more magical because it is so fleeting. Thanks Peter.

  41. Annie January 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    I do like to see frost on a garden, particularly as opposed to puddles, which is what we have here.

    Our geums bloomed for a second time in October and have been flowering ever since, just not very prolifically.

    • Jessica January 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Geums are incredibly good value as garden plants. Yes, the puddles are back here too. The frost was the most fleeting I’ve ever seen it.

  42. Donna@Gardens Eye View January 31, 2016 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Stunning captures of thick frost coating a garden.

    • Jessica February 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t seem much of a winter.. it was gone within the hour. But very pretty while it lasted. Thanks Donna.

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