An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 5, 2010

Early Inevitability

Here in Tidewater we got our first taste of winter weather this weekend. Until last week I hadn't even had a killing frost, but this weekend it got below freezing cold at night with highs in the 40's during the day, and this pattern is expected to remain through the early week. Last night we even got snow, albeit a very light dusting. This type of weather is not uncommon here, but it did arrive earlier than we normally see. I do apologize to my northern, western and European friends if I sound like I'm whining about it.

So to mark the occasion of winter, here are the obligatory shots of foliage and flowers with snow, I believe it is a garden blogging requirment to do so. All of these were taken at work this morning before we opened and before the sun melted everything.

Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

Trachycarpus fortunei (2)

Camellia sasanqua (unknown cv.)

Camellia sasanqua (unknown cv.)

Black and Blue Salvia (Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue')

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue

The exact species name of this Agave has been lost to the bad record keeping annals of history.

Agave (Unidentified species) (2)

Santa Rita Tubac Prickly Pear (Opuntia santa-rita 'Tubac')

Opuntia santa-rita 'Tubac'

And finally a more seaonally appropriate shot of one our Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Christmas trees. I am pleased to say that this species appears to have grown wings as they were flying off the lot this weekend.

Abies fraseri


  1. Nice photos Les! Here in west Suffolk we got about an inch. Morgan woke up at 8am ready to go out & play in it. I finally gave in and we were outside 15 minutes later. I guess it was a good thing because it was all gone this afternoon.

  2. I hope my obligatory snow photos are still in the future. We have had frost, but no snow. Your change of season was pretty quick. Sure made for some interesting photos -- bloom and snow. Nice.
    Sure do like the one with the droplets on the prickly pear. Pretty cool.

  3. Les,

    Really liked the agave photo the simplicity makes it draw you in. See you had camellias in the snow too. Our camellias were blanketed in snow, we got nearly 2 inches.

  4. Maybe inevitable, but also beautifully done! I especially like the black and white windmill palm. Happy winter!

  5. Yes, it looks like it became a must to show our first snowy pictures. Now, you have them. Welcome to the club! The images are beautiful!Love the pear especially!

  6. Great wintery shots Les. I love the Prickly Pear one with the ice droplets, so cool. Yep I wasn't prepared for this cold so soon in the season. Normally we don't see this until January or at least late December. Stay warm! :)

  7. ah for those days when the sun's going to melt the snow off. I was just thinking that we might not see the ground again til the inevitable but temporary thaw in Jan or Feb. Beautiful to see blooms in the snow.

  8. So if the agave's species name has been lost, can you make one up?

    Nice pics, Les - having grown up in the snow belt of Ohio, I do NOT miss snow. It is pretty, though, isn't it?

  9. Gorgeous photos! You don't sound like you are whining at all. I'm leaving my palm outside but now that is is only 20 degrees I might bring it in. Geez, I just figured out I should've already brought it in. Does yours do well all winter?

  10. Les, it was the 'Perfect Storm' in Gloucester: No sticking to the roads and it melted by noon. Nothing like a little snow to trigger Christmas trees to fly off the lot!

  11. we just missed the snow here - it was all around, though. love all the pictures of it. i'm envious.

  12. Alan,
    As a child I would have disappointed with the mere dusting, but the adult in me was glad to see so little.

    For you sake I hope the snow photos from SC are well into the future.

    2 inches too much I'd say.

    My wife was smitten with the palm photo as well.

    This is not the club I want to join.

    This whole day felt like January to me.

    I am glad you enjoyed the snowy blooms, and I hope you might get a break before Jan or Feb.

    The closest thing the Agave looks like is A. american, but it is not listed as hardy for us.

    This was not my palm, but I know it has been there for at least 10 years with no protection.

    I like you definition, very much.

    I am sure your time may come.

    Thanks, I like that picture as well.


  13. Obligatory and beautiful! Will the camellia buds survive? We have had a few freezes and the garden is long gone...Except for a few wall flowers, but, they may be gone after tonight! gail

  14. Nice to see you taking blogging duties seriously, because of course it is obligatory. And as soon as it snows here, you can bet I'll have my camera ready...I'm kidding and jealous at the same time. What great photographic opportunities the change in weather brings.

  15. I'm loving your pictures... the palm fronds are beautiful.

  16. Dreaming of a white Hanukkah? It does look more like Maine than the south. You’ve captured the odd contrast very well in these shots.