Frosty Days are Here Again

 

Figure 1: Minimum Daily Temperatures (November 8th - December 7th 2023)

In our Hereford garden, the first air frost (temperature < 0 ℃) of this winter arrived at thirty minutes past midnight on the morning of the 25th November. Figure 1 displays the minimum daily temperatures between the 8th November and the 7th December 2023. The first air frost appeared at the start of a chilly 10 days at the end of November and stretching into December. Those first few air frosts were enough to cut short the dahlia (Photo 1) and fuchsia (Photo 2) blooms.

Photo 1: Frosted Dahlia (27/11/23)

Photo 2: Frosted Fuchsia (27/11/23)

Although the Salvias did not appear to notice ...

Photo 3: Frost Hardy Salvia (27/11/23)

In the kitchen garden, fleece provided some protection for celeriac even though they are frost resistant ...

Photo 4: Celeriac Frost Protection

A harder frost was just around the corner with temperatures dropping to -5 ℃ on the 1st December and even lower (-7 ℃) on the 2nd. The bird bath froze over (Photos 5 & 6) with some interesting ice patterns.

Photo 5: Frozen Bird Bath (7/12/23)

Photo 6: Ice Patterns in the Bird Bath

The Swiss Chard plants suffered in the -7 ℃ frost but recovered a day or two later.

Photo 7: Swiss Chard after -7 ℃ Frost (2/12/23)

The garden took on a magical wintry look and we had lots of visitors to the bird feeders.

Photo 8: Frosted Garden

Cobwebs you never knew were there suddenly appear ...

Photo 9: Frosted Weather Station

... creating incredible structures in the air ...

Photo 10: Cobweb Canopy

Many of the plants were covered in ice crystals like these rose hips (rosehips, rose haw, rose hep) ...

Photo 11: Ice Crystals on Rose Hips

After the cold snap, temperatures have picked again as shown in Figure 2. For the last seven days (5th to 11th December inclusive), mean daily temperatures have averaged +7.5 ℃ which is 3 ℃ above the CET average for December. Not quite t-shirt weather but I've managed to do a lot of tidying up in the garden.

Figure 2: Mean, Max and Min Daily Temperatures (12/11/23 to 11/12/23)

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