I have jelly in my lupins!


This post is written in haste because I have just been able to repeat a discovery I made a couple of weeks ago.

Water turns to jelly!

My step-daughter and I discovered this together when we poked the water in the bird-bath early one morning, and it was gelatinous.  The surface tension was stronger, and the whole mass could be pressed inwards, and wobbled, like jelly.  Our fingers didn’t get wet; the water seemed to move out of the way of them.


We could stir it, too, and it was like a lovely, soft-set jelly, still perfectly translucent, and self-healing.  Not slushy, but a gel.

I reported this to Mr Physics, The Garden Brewer, and he didn’t believe me.  So when taking photos in the snow just now, imagine my excitement when I found that the droplets of water caught at the centre of each lupin leaf had also turned to jelly!

I ran to the house in excitement, dragged him by the collar, and led him to the lupins.  And, whilst he was a little heavy-handed in his poking, he did have to concede that it was indeed gelatinous, and not, as he had suggested previously, merely slush.

Readers, do you have any explanation for this wondrous phenomenon?  Do you have any water jelly in your garden?  Or am I the chosen one?

If you think that this post is just a load of bunkum, then just look at the pretty pictures below.





27 Comments Add yours

  1. bcparkison says:

    ???? Please let us know when you find out.

  2. chicu says:

    Never heard of that! What temperature was it outside? Please do tell us when you figure it out

    1. Ali says:

      It was 0.5, so I wonder whether it is a state before freezing. Also in both cases the water was shallow.

  3. Horti Hugh says:

    Curious, very curious …

    1. John Kingdon says:

      Indeed, this is of the utmost curiousness. A Scottish friend once suggested that a similar discovery in a London garden could be traced back to the presence of over-amorous male foxes and an absence of females. Or it may have been alpacas. Can’t remember exactly now.

      1. Horti Hugh says:

        Wow, that’s even more curios now ! Have you been keeping foxes or alpacas ? 😳😆

      2. Ali says:

        😂 We have alpacas in the field immediately behind, but surely they can’t be responsible for filling every lupin (and the bird bath)!!

  4. Stevie says:

    Stevie the resident physicist took time off from brewing a Bohemian pilsner to investigate. I think we need to be careful about the word ‘jelly’. I don’t think it was jelly I think it was water on the verge of freezing, and the wet crystals (thus all but invisible in the water) and the very low temperature increasing viscosity and surface tension made it look like a blob. But I don’t know for sure, because water is a very tricky substance, and anyway, I did space and galaxies and things.

    1. Ali says:

      I love you, Stevie.

  5. Stevie says:

    Also, the surface will freeze first, making a sort of skin.

  6. Chloris says:

    Jelly? Just boring old snow here. And whatever you are on to help you survive this latest Beast from the East, I want some.

    1. Ali says:

      😂 Oxtail stew and plenty of chocolate, Chloris!

  7. Claudette says:

    Very interesting phenomenon. Not had it happened hear, but then I don’t really get snow, just killer frosts which freeze my lupin water droplets.

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, think they were on their way to freezing.

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    My thoughts are the same as Stevie’s above. A viscous state between water and ice, very rare to see!

    1. Ali says:

      Such excitement! Was worth nipping out in the snow.

  9. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Whatever it was, Ali, that’s a lovely collection of photos.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Jane!

  10. Not noticed any jelly.

  11. I’ve never seen anything like this. I have some lupines and will keep an eye on them. Nice photos!

  12. Long may your jelly wobble 😉

  13. Island Time says:

    Maybe something left by a wee leprechaun? St. Paddy’s Day and all!

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