February 8, 2011

Textures After the "Storm"

All the stars were perfectly aligned and Austin experienced snow last Friday.  There wasn't much accumulation but it was beautiful while it lasted providing a unique perspective from which to view the garden.

As the sun emerged Friday, I ventured out to espy the changes that had occurred throughout the week of freezing temperatures and snowfall.

This unoccupied bird's nest fell from the crape myrtle tree.  It is fascinating to see what resourceful builders the birds are:  there are leaves, grasses, seed heads and a piece of plastic in this nest.  This nest is small and fits in the palm of my hand.

The bat face cuphea has taken on beautiful hues throughout the winter but this last cold spell brought out these fuzzy characteristics.

This is the pineapple sage after the storm...the tissue paper flowers hung to the stem tenaciously and still display a quiet beauty.

There were a few casualties - the agapanthus, ginger and sago palms look a little worse for wear but will most likely bounce back.   After experiencing these prolonged, below freezing temperatures for two years in a row I'm considering removing some of the tropical plants from my garden.   Life is too short to be a slave to plants that aren't adapted to our climate and as the weather patterns change, I'm going to have to be adaptable too, possibly giving up some of the plants I love.


  1. Delighted that your kids could experience a bit of snow last week. It's no secret that I love Winter. There is beauty to be found even in the damage that the cold brings. Your lens captures that so well and your words add description that enhance. A very lovely post!

  2. A good point about not being a slave. Totally agree, life is too short!

  3. Hi Cat, great photo`s, as usual!
    Here in the U.K. we have had to change our outlook in gardening! We were told to plant Mediterranean plants for the milder winters that we were to expect, but having had the coldest winters for 30 years and the coldest December ever this winter we may have to change that idea! The Phormium`s in the garden are looking decidedly sorry for themselves, several have died and more are trying to give up the ghost!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  4. I agree...i think some of my replacement plants will be more tolerant of the cold. Pretty photos, I love the bird's nest. We might get sleet, etc. tomorrow. :/

  5. Ou no if you have give up some of your plants but that's life I suppose. We are so living under the climate conditions and just have adapt to that. There is so many plants what I really want have but no...stupid winter.

  6. Although we have to look a little more carefully, there's much beauty to be seen even in the winter. Thanks for sharing your view of it!

  7. I subscribe to the Darwinian approach to gardening....survival of the fittest. I love to garden but simply don't have the time to baby plants. I like the idea of planting native species to my zone so once established they are pretty hardy. I keep my succulents as indoor plants most of the year. Your photos are stunning as usual!

  8. 'a quiet beauty'... what a neat expression to use to describe that sage...

    Anyway, you may or may not be pleased, but forgive me for taking the liberty to nominate your blog for an 'award'... please free to reject if it is too troublesome to accept...

  9. Cat I love the birdnest, they are so clever when you think they do most of it with just a beak, I often find blackbird nests and one time I found one in slightly more open branches and they had put a roof on, a few branches above the nest was a thatch and moss roof over the nest :o)
    I agree about not being a slave to our gardens which is why I am trying to find plants that cope with our gale force winds here,

  10. Hi Cat, beautiful images as ever. You are a gardener after my own heart - life is indeed too short to pamper plants that are no longer happy in our gardens. Mind you, knowing which plants those are can be tricky! Do our recent two harsh winters make a pattern, or are they just one of those blips? Will our summers continue to be broken by long wet spells, or will we return to the long dry summers we keep being warned about? Very confusing, I am trying to hedge my bets and concentrate on only the most robust of plants in the hope that they will cope with the lot.

  11. I have to agree that flowers are beautiful even in their misery. They are still graceful, especially in photos, after their peak.
    My goodness, the pictures in your post before this takes my breath away. They are right up my alley.


  12. Beautiful post, Cat. Yes, life is too short to be a slave to plants that aren't adapted to our changing climate. But it's so hard to give up plants you love!

  13. the first one, looks amazing!
    let me invite to visit my space , http://tiagophotografy.blogspot.com/ , hope you like, and somehow my work can inspire :D
    Hugs from Portugal!

  14. Your photos remind me - you miss a whole new level of beauty if you don't get close enough to your plants.

  15. That birds nest is wonderful, amazing what can be made of so little. Seems like we all have to learn to garden around weather changes. It's just hard to know how it's changing. We've had both more snow and warmer temperatures.

  16. Beautiful pictures, as always. And I found a wind-thrown birds nest from last year. Free discovery. Plus, lots of dryer lint and stuff on the ground in front, whisked from an old nest above.

    And yes, between drought & hard freeze, it forces us to re-examine what we really love!


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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