Walking around the yard, I noticed a miniature reproduction of the opening scene from the original Superman- strange crystals arranged in an interesting pattern. What could have caused this event?
Frost Heave! It’s a thing. When there is plenty of moisture in the ground, pressure created from freezing and thawing cycles can lift the soil, along with ice particles out of the ground, as shown. Sometimes plants can also be lifted out of the ground. A good way to protect plants from frost heave is to have a layer of mulch around the plants. This will help mitigate temperature fluctuations.