The recent weather hasn't been too kind to the garden. I suppose I shouldn't complain, after all it is winter.
But after spending early December weekends sitting on the patio in shorts and watching the butterflies, I was brought back to earth with a thump when last week's freeze did quite a bit of damage.
Oh, I know most of it will come back eventually and just needs to be trimmed back, but it's still sad to see.
Saddest of all is the fact that this Milkweed bush, now dead and brown, had a whole host of caterpillars on it the day before the frost hit.
I don't know whether the three chrysalises have made it or not. They still look nice and bright and green, and being on the underside of the fence and birdbath, they were protected from the actual frost, if not the cold temperatures.
All I can do is wait and see. If they make it, I'll have to run and get some container plants so they have some nectar to feed on.
In addition to the freeze, we had some very strong wind and rain on another night and I went out the following morning to discover a large branch had come off the dead pine tree on the other side of the wall. (We've been waiting for the developer to respond to requests to take it down before it falls on our house, but that's another story).
But all is not gloom and doom. Some things made it through unscathed. As you can see in the photo above, my deliciously scented rosemary topiary is still healthy, as are the million achillea babies under the Vitex tree.
Note to self: must see about relocating some of these in the spring.
And also, in amongst the frozen Mandevilla and Lantana, the Turk's Cap Lilies are looking great - so far, at least.
So that's the garden in winter. Some low points and some high points, but that's gardening isn't it?
How is your garden doing this winter?
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.