Is it snow?

This week has seen a big change in the weather.  No more kidding myself that it is spring or autumn, winter has arrived.  It is early for it to be so cold here in Lazio

On Monday I drove to Rome, I chose the road that goes over the Cimini hills (mountains) they aren’t that high so it rather depends where you come from whether you consider them mountains or hills, the highest point on the road is 850 m.  It was cold but also beautifully sunny, as I was driving I saw in the distance the snow tipped peak of Monte Amiata, but that’s higher than the Cimini and way off in Tuscany so I didn’t change my mind about my route.  Mistake!  As I climbed the trees began to be sprinkled with white.  Was it frost?  Then it became clear, the trees were coated in a thick layer of snow; it was amazingly beautiful and I regret not taking any photographs, but I thought the road was too dangerous to stop.  Cars coming in the opposite direction were driving very slowly and as I neared the highest point (860 m) there was a group of Carabinieri, stopping the traffic, saying the road was closed due to ice!  So I retraced my steps and took a lower road to arrive at my destination an hour late on a journey that should have taken 50 minutes!

Then yesterday, Wednesday when the forecast said it would be sunny, it first rained and then hailed, huge pieces of ice some about the size if a marble, others smaller – and it was so cold that many remained on the ground for two days!

Hail stones on the window cill

Hail stones on the window cill

Hailstones on the terrace

Hailstones on the terrace

Hail in the garden

Hail in the garden

White fields of hail stones

White fields of hail stones

Today garden is white with frost, the clipped Lavender looking lovely outlined in white; but some intervention is needed; the lemons and limes that I had already moved from the north east side of the house to the west side to avoid the cold north wind (Tramontana) now need to be moved into the greenhouse, so a little rearranging is also called for there.

Lavender in the formal garden white with frost

Lavender in the formal garden white with frost

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33 thoughts on “Is it snow?

  1. Good heavens christina, you are a lot colder than here!! So glad you got safely home again, your garden looks beautiful with the design of your formal garden outlined with frost. Keep warm!

  2. Ciao Christina. I have sent you an email that looks ahead to next year – when I hope the weather is warmer! Please look out for it as I know you spam catcher is rather assertive! Yvonne

  3. What a change from a few posts ago Christina! Your wintry scenes are beautiful, especially the last one of the lavender hedge.

    Your lavender seems to have recovered well after the tough summer. Mine is getting terribly woody and sections are easily pulled out.

    • Not all the lavender recovered, fortunately the cetral part that you can see is good but 6 or 8 plants died in the part you can’t see. They were planted very closely so I’m hoping the neighbouring plants will grow to fill the spaces. Christina

  4. I’m up north at the moment visiting family and dropping off Christmas presents and it has been cold here too. After lots of flooding just over a week ago the flooded fields and paths have turned into ice rinks now as temperatures have plummeted. Your garden looks lovely with its dusting of snow.

  5. I like the formality of your lavender despite not being keen on that sort of garden. The snow always looks nice when you don’t have to get somewhere. I’m hoping we dont have any until my youngest gets home from University

    • It isn’t so much work; the lavender needs cutting 2 or 3 times a year to stay looking good, but other than cutting back the Perovskia in spring and mulching that’s it. Christina

  6. Yikes, I keep hearing that this winter is going to the worst the worst for over 20 years, maybe they are right. The edging really makes your circular bed look good under its layer of hailstones, and the miscanthus look fantastic.

  7. I got a surprise to see your garden white with frost. Winter should not come as a surprise in December! I cannot help but admire the picture of the frost on you garden but I agree with you that it is best viewed from the comfort of a warm room.

  8. Your formal garden looks fabulous with a coating of frost! Winter really highlights the good structure of your garden. Winter has arrived here, too. We may or may not get snow on any given winter; it’s always iffy. Everyone spends the next two months speculating about it!

  9. Wow Christina, I never think of your garden with hailstones but I have to say it looks very pretty to my eyes – almost like a dusting of icing sugar on a mince pie 🙂

    We woke to a much softer dusting of snow this morning – no hailstones but it has been pretty chilly these last few days so at least the snow has brought warmer air (slightly anyway).

    I wonder what makes you think you’ll get a lot of snow this year? What signs tell you that – your trees or perhaps the way the birds are feeding?

    • I’m not sure why I think it will be cold this winter, the evidence so far is that it has become cold much earlier than usual. We moved here in 2003 (the hottest summer on record for the UK and also here in Italy; that winter was very cold – I was shocked that it was colder here than in Southern England. It was very cold in November or December; in other years it isn’t really cold until late January or February and then begins to wqrm up in March usually. Christina

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