Some things are at their best when they are frozen - like this ice fountain.
And some things are at their worst. This Tetrapanax papyrifer was doing swell up until the time the scorching frost brought an end to its soaring umbrella of 5'-wide leaves. Not to worry - the temperatures weren't harsh enough to kill it to the ground.
The formerly green, now black leaves in the foreground and the background of this photo are those of Echium pininana. I'm not even sure if they would be able to make it through a zone 9 winter. But they make excellent annuals nonetheless and are only $3 at Jungle Fever Exotics in Tacoma. I am going to look into growing these from seed.
It's a bit hard to see in this photo - the "stick" in the middle is an Embothrium coccineum or Chilean Fire Tree. This is one of those mysterious plants you always hear about (evergreen tree, red tubular flowers in spring, hummingbird magnet) but never see in any nurseries. The reason is they are apparently very difficult to grow in pots. So when I finally stumbled upon some at Jungle Fever Exotics, I bought two. They are both doing very well - this one was 2' tall at the beginning of the year and is now 6'.