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Ice Storm in Laura’s Garden

Today’s photos are from Laura.

After a sudden drop in temperature, my suburban Philadelphia garden was transformed with a shimmering coating of ice. Without much forethought but with my cell phone in hand, I managed to capture the magic as mature shrubs and evergreens glistened with ice that melted away almost as quickly as it had formed.

tree covered in iceThe cultivar name of Cupressus glabra ‘Blue Ice’ (Zones 5–9) refers to the blue-gray cast to the foliage, but it is doubly appropriate in this scene.

holly bush covered in ice and icicles This Ilex opaca (American holly, Zones 5–9)—along with some lights left over from the holidays—is draped with ice. Ice like this is incredibly beautiful, but it can damage some trees and shrubs with its weight. Fortunately, this holly seems to be holding up to it well.

bird freeder and bare shrub covered in iceA bird feeder is backed up by the ice-covered stems of an indigo shrub (Indigofera sp., Zones 6–9). Deciduous shrubs and trees are generally less likely to be damaged in an ice storm than those with leaves on them, and they look just as beautiful.

shrub with bright red berries covered in iceNandina domestica (Zones 5–9) berries are always beautiful, but they look even brighter with an icy backdrop.

norway spruce covered in icePicea abies (Norway spruce, Zones 2–7)

pine tree covered in icePinus strobus ‘Blue Shag’ (dwarf white pine, Zones 3–8)

white pine covered in iceLong needles from a regular Pinus strobus (white pine) hang down with a layer of ice over them. The flexible branches of pine should bounce back as the ice melts away.

Cherry laurel leaf covered in iceIt is incredible to see the way every detail of the veining of cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus, Zones 6–9) leaves is preserved in the ice. It is a marvelous work of art, all the more beautiful for being so fleeting.

Japanese umbrella pine covered in iceA Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata, Zones 5–8) nods under the weight of the ice.


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