We've been shrugging and shaking our heads at the mild weather. Fine and warm, everyone agrees, and we thank it for the still full oil tanks and still high wood piles. And yet ... 'C'n'est pas normal...' we could really do with a bit of ice to kill les bestioles, the bugs, the microbes...
On the first crisp bright day of frost, people were out and about with a bright, braced look, greeting one another cheerfully, relieved. Things were more as they should be.
Foxgloves are an abundant weed hereabouts, but largely a tolerated one in our garden. It seems somewhat of a misnomer to call something so massive, fleshy and imposing a weed. They are biennial of course, so their rosettes of leaves keep going through the winter to throw their flowering spikes late the following spring.
Frost does them no harm.
'Nature' sniffed Francois Boucher ' is too green and badly lit'. Funny thing, green, too little and you grow tense and cramped and miserable, yet too much of the same flat, dull tone of it becomes oppressive too. Greenstuff persists plentifully through the year here, but it can grow samey and wearisome, till spring fire sets it luminously alight again in the trees and hedges.
So frost is welcome, for the relief, the picking out of line and form and texture which it provides, and for its muting and shading of dully even colour (and why not give it a hand here and there and click the B/W button?)
Artichokes are biennials too.
These plants we brought back from our B&B friends at Morlaix last year. We like artichokes, though in season they're ever so cheap here, they're still worth growing, as the foxgloves are worth sparing, for their substantial beauty, with their Arts and Crafts foliage and heraldic, Fibonacci-structured flower heads, whether you eat the latter or not.
More frost today, more frosted things tomorrow, perhaps.