Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ice Crystals

With many parts of the UK gripped by the heaviest early snow fall in 17 years, we have had to ensure that the tender plants are all under cover. Some of the smaller plants in the garden now have upturned buckets over them, this gives a borderline plant a bit of extra help in keeping frost or snow off them until the worst of the weather passes.

We are due for a cold night tonight with temperatures below -1C at 21:30 (OK not cold by some standards but quite chilly for where we are). Our forecast is for about -3C tonight, so not anything to be too alarmed by, however we will probably find quite a heavy frost has formed by morning, with quite a few ice crystals.

Which brings me on to a particularly favourite plant in the garden, Ficus carica 'Ice Crystal', which is an ornamental fig, not grown in the UK for its fruits but its leaves.

The leaf shape quickly gives away the source of the name.
This plant has often attracted the interest of gardening friends when they have visited the garden, and most initially find it hard to believe it is a fig.


  1. I am enjoying hearing about you Winter precautions. Remember to rug up and keep warm yourselves!

  2. Tis is a beautiful plant; I love the leaves. Will it stand the cold temperatures?

  3. Thats is a nice plant - we are predicted -1 tonight, I have everything protected apart from one dahlia that I overlooked but might manage to dig that up today

  4. Dear Mark and Gaz, What a nightmare this weather is for you and your tender plants. The prediction is for a short, sharp winter.......but how sharp I am wondering and so I expect are you. The Ficus is indeed very pretty well worth arranging individual central heating for if necessary!!!

  5. Thanks for all the comments.

    Ice Crystal is a reasonably tough and hardy plant and should be ok without any additional protection. It is also planted in a fairly sheltered spot, so should be protected from the worst of any cold winds and frosts.

    Most of the plants in the garden don't need any specific protection for the typical winter we get in our location. We always give a few plants a little extra help if they are still small or maybe not very strong. But overall the philosophy is that the vast majority of the garden has to cope without too much fuss over winter.

    That's not to say we still don't have a little worry from time to time!

  6. thats the problem with growing tender plants in the uk it all has to be wrapped up in the winter

  7. Hiya, most of the exotic plants we have in the garden are actually hardy in our location and do not need protecting. The tender plants are just spring/summer accent pieces to reinforce the effect.

    Ficus 'Ice Crystal' is deciduous, and reported to be hardy even for most parts of Scotland and central France.

  8. enjoying your blog, this is a really lovely Ficus!


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