Monday, January 16, 2012

Frosty morning # 2: relief, foxgloves and artichokes

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.

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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?)
















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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.

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More frost today, more frosted things tomorrow, perhaps.

11 comments:

zephyr said...

Lovely images. And some of the few digital bw that i have seen and admire.

Last weekend: snowdrops blooming months ahead of schedule for this neck of the woods. This morning: 8 degrees F. But we did not have lovely frost. :^(

the polish chick said...

i feel like i'm being repetitive and your photos are always so very beautiful that it just has to be said, so i'm saying it.

Zhoen said...

I had no idea foxglove was so lovely.

Dale said...

So lovely!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

So many bloggy friends posting icy photos. So good when it is still 32degC and humid at 9pm. Thank you.

Isabelle said...

Oops. Now regret Googling "mid-poo".

Anne said...

Photos as usual, beautiful. This reminds me of a comment by a Burmese friend after she returned to Burma from a year in California. "I found Burma monotonously green," she said.

marly youmans said...

Oh, to have foxglove as a weed!

And lovely architectural artichokes as well. In Helen Hunt Jackson's "Ramona," there's an early scene of hanging laundry on big artichoke plants with dried heads. Sticks in my head somehow...

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps.

Tom told me off for seeming to complain about perennial greenness, and in truth I would rather live somewhere temperate and damp and mild and surrounded by vegetation than any other environment. It is a bit of a green desert here though, hence the welcome foxgloves. Mullein is even more impressive.

Isabelle - well of course then I had to do it didn't I? In many instances one rather wished one hadn't looked, though others were quite harmless instances of puppy and potty training of course. Mid-poo entertainment is perhaps a genre ripe for exploitation though...

earlybird said...

Everyone's pretty happy here too now we've had a couple of good frosts.

Fire Bird said...

lovely lovely