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16 November 2017

Cold Snap

Usually at this time of year leaves are turning color and falling slowly to the ground, making crisp drifts. But this fall has been different: we had a sudden frost that caught many of the plants by surprise. Leaves shriveled and turned brown, still clinging:

 

Of course not every plant was unprepared. We have our evergreen holly, pines and yew trees

as well as the carpets of greenery that remain vibrant in all seasons: lunaria, vinca and mint:

The winter honeysuckle doesn’t lose its leaves until after it blooms in the very early spring

and the Italian arum, which slept through the last weeks of summer, will be beautifully green all winter, even under the snow:

The goldenrods and asters have made lovely puffs of seed parachutes:

 

There are even a few things in bloom! The witch hazel – and an unexpected black-eyed Susan:

Many plants have roots that will live all winter. If you look carefully at these irises, you can see the fans of short, spiky leaves at the center of the old ones that have fallen over and are about to die back:

When spring comes, those short leaves will shoot up – and be followed by flower stalks.

Other plants die, but leave seeds behind that will come up next year.

One plant I don’t know about, though, is the canna lily. We have several of them and they gave us bright yellow flowers all summer –but the frost hit them hard.

 

They’re able to survive through the winter, but only if they don’t get too cold. Will these come up again next spring?

We’ll find out!