First Frost

We had our first frost of the winter on Saturday.  I didn’t take any photos, sorry.

It was very cold when I first went outside at about 8 am, but during the morning it warmed up so that it was a pleasure to be outside.  I planted a small area which has dissatisfied me for some time.  A very large Datura was planted here (spreading to about 3m x 3m); it looked interesting in the evenings when the white flowers opened, but they closed again and died as soon as the sun reached them in the morning.  In winter it died back completely leaving a very bare patch.  We see this area from the part of the terrace which is shady at lunch time and is protected from the west wind – so we often sit here.

The Datura in July 2008

I have for some time admired plantings of box, trimmed into balls forming ‘cloud’ effects.  This seems the ideal place in the garden for just such a planting – not too large (therefore not too expensive) and needing evergreen interest.

The new planting

Although this area is in full view of one part of the terrace it is behind a pomegranate tree and so not visible when walking up the path by the left hand border, I like this element of surprise.  I have planted strategically a Miscanthus gigantean which forms a back drop to the box and will form part of the picture of the planting I always enjoy in the LH border.  I also planted a Teucrium fruticans which I will prune into a large sphere (a cheaper option than a very large box.  I transplanted a couple of Thyme that needed to be transplanted from another part of the garden as they seem to grown naturally into a sphere; they can be removed when the box needs more space.  There is a rosemary planted close by and I have pruned that into a ball to add to the scheme.

7 thoughts on “First Frost

  1. I love this new planting and it will be really beautiful in that border- when its warm enough to go outside, I’m going to take the clippers to my rosemary!(This will not be today its a minus quantity outside)

    • This morning was sunny but there was a cold wind, I finished tidying the circular bed, cutting back the Gaura and pulling the ‘blond hairs’ from stipa tenuissima, I prefer to see it green during the winter.

  2. I love the contrast between the Miscanthus and the evergreen clipped shapes. I am also envious that you are still able to garden! Here, the ground is so frozen that all I can do is tidy up a little and race back inside!

    • I am lucky with my soil – even after all the rain I can work it. Tuffo is basically just porous rock and my soil is granules of it as the rock substrate breaks down – a little worrying as the house is also made of it!

  3. I’ll admit to a certain fondness for the unsubtle ways of daturas. They feed the fantasies of moonlight strolls and nighttime gatherings of friends with the impressivesly fragrant flowers demanding attention. But as you point out, they’re usually less than stunning during the daylight hours, and I can see why you made your decision to replace your plant. Funny how removing one plant can leave you space for many more.

    • Though I’ve removed this Daura I’ve transplanted a portion of the root to a better place to be enjoyed where it can spread and not cause problems. Its root was enormous, thicker than my upper arm by a long way. I also have seedling plants in another border so we’ll still be able to enjoy that wonderful perfume. Christina

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