Garden Journal

Getting started …

I’ve been thinking for a while about starting an informal little garden journal. Just a notebook really, with possibly some of my own drawings in it when I’ve established the habit. I started on April 3rd, a day of some significance for me for other reasons, and I can tell by the handwriting that I was enjoying the process of writing it.

Nothing much has been added since, unfortunately, because I’ve had so many other things to do, but Easter weekend seems a good time to pick up the threads and start work again, both in the garden and the journal.

Wish me luck!

Gold

I’ve seen very few goldfinches in the garden; even then, they didn’t stick around for long. Just occasionally I’d hear an unfamiliar song, then look up and notice one on a chimney stack, or catch a brief flash of red and yellow as a pair took off from their precarious perch on last year’s Rudbeckias. In fact, I’ve never seen many of them, although I remember seeing a group (or charm) feasting on some thistle seeds by the dusty road I lived on when I was a child.
Last year, I bought a packet of Nyjer (Guizotia abyssinica) seed and a special bird feeder, hoping to attract some of these attractive little birds. Nothing happened. A couple of investigative visits from  long-tailed tits, but they didn’t seem to find it very inspiring. This spring, though, two goldfinches started visiting regularly, always after I left for work, of course! But this morning I managed to take a quick shot of them (through the window, so not top quality).

With luck, they will become regular visitors, and possibly even nest nearby.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/g/goldfinch/

 

A Garden in Winter

With not a snowflake in sight (though I’m hoping for snowdrops)!

It’s so mild that I’ve been tempted outdoors to do some jobs in the garden. I’ve re-potted a cyclamen (an indoor plant, this one, so not very daring of me) in the hope of keeping it flowering a little longer. I’ve rescued some hyacinth bulbs that I put away last summer and forgot about. Guilt made me look for them and give them a new residence. They were sprouting, and therefore deserve a chance, but they’ll have to remain outside as I found a large grub in the roots of one; I can’t risk them around my avocado plants and cacti, in case any more beasties are lurking therein.  The amaryllis bulbs had completely collapsed – eaten by said grub, I suspect.

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Something is flowering!

Last but definitely not least, I’ve tidied up the two old sinks I use for bulbs. A few plants had decided to set up camp: marjoram, which had seeded there from an adjoining sink;  Ajuga, or bugleweed, which spreads like purple wildfire; and a berried shrub whose name I don’t know. Nothing wrong with any of them, but they were threatening to drown the spring bulbs. Now I’m looking forward to the colourful return of my miniature daffodils and irises.

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Life returns.
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Messy, but better than it was!

‘Someone’ had put a plastic pond-liner at the bottom of the garden, exactly where my snowdrops come up, year after year. It didn’t seem important in summer, when we bought it, but I suddenly realised how close we are to snowdrop time and moved it away. The shoots look pale and flattened, but I think they’ll recover! (I posted about snowdrops in February 2015.)

Definitely a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks.

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Flying saucer in a plantpot! Life is everywhere if you look for it.

 

Step 1 – Tulips

In a little-read post (and I can’t blame anyone for that, as it was mainly a note to myself), I outlined Four Garden Plans. One of them was to plant some red tulips, for a burst of colour in the spring of 2017.

I bought two small packs of tulip bulbs, one red, one very dark purplish-black, and, in my usual haphazard way, planted them around the garden. Now I just have to wait, and try to identify step 2!

 

(The featured image is of a beautiful single tulip I found growing by the roadside. It appeared on my Instagram feed sometime last year.)