It rained again, heavy torrential rain. Despite the weather, there are the tulips, bright and colourful. The apple blossom is just beginning to open and a cornflower shows its beautiful blue bloom. The birds are in abundance and are so uplifting. But do you know what did it for me today, a little girl who said....."Don't worry about the rain Nanna, me do spell and sun shine for you morrow" Can you beat it, I don't think so.
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Well thank goodness there is only one day left of April. Weather wise it has been a foul month. I have lost most of the buds on my wisteria, all the tops of several pieris, my japanese maples have brown edged leaves etc etc etc. Severe frosts have done more damage than I first realised. We are now going through another rainy spell. Woe is me! BUT every cloud has a silver lining.....the auriculas and cowslip have flowered and flowered. The drumstick primulas are still pretty and the white thrift is just getting ready to burst. I treated myself to a scabious today, butterfly wings, lovely name. The last photo is of our rusty old garden ornament CHURCHILL. This is for Rose, she knows why, and I am glad I am not the only one who sometimes can't see 100 per cent.
Also I would like to thank Mark at The Green Fingered Photographer. I won the monthly competition he holds "Wednesday Wanderings". The prize is one of his mounted photographs. Mark has a way with the camera that most of us can only dream of, and I have a great respect for his work. Tku Mark it will be a priviledge to have one of your works on my wall.
Monday, 28 April 2008
When you go down to the wood today be sure of a big surprise.......well I was. Although its only a tiny space and not really a wood, hence the name copse, there were a few surprises. The wildflower, red campion, has come into bloom and is smothered in little pink flowers. The ferns have suddenly sprung up all over the place, and the funny shapes I find really fascinating. The native bluebells are just getting ready to open. All in all it was a pleasant surprise. I put some bark down along the pathway, I try to do this once a year. I don't do much to this area, this part really is for nature......you can't get in to the wooded area it is now so overgrown but it is full of wildlife.
The final photograph was taken as I walked back across the grass to go into the house. I managed to get the grass cut today. Rain forecast again tomorrow, can't complain because we have had two lovely days.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Its amazing how a little bit of sunshine brings so many creatures out. I find insects easy to photograph, as they will carry on doing there own thing without much of a panic. Mr Robin and Mr Blackbird are fairly tame and always available for a bit of filming. The more elusive creatures that I would love to get a shot of still fox me time and time again. I have been following goldfinch around the garden for about three weeks now, all to no avail. Yesterday I saw a beautiful little weasel, time I focused in on him, scat gone. Long tailed tits have also arrived and they again tease me constantly, now you see me, now you don't. I will keep trying. The good news is both the goldfinch and long tailed tits are nesting in the garden. Rejoice.
Not all of the mason bees are out of the units yet. I have never known such a strange year with them. They have been all over the place just like the weather. The old girl still refuses to open her blooms, still waiting for the females to leave the units. Will her timing be right,I don't know, but she has never let them down. All my other fruit trees are in blossom, but she always seems to play the waiting game.
Anyway yesterday was sunny and two little mason bees fell in love and did what came naturally.
Finally the fruit you see in the picture is the old trees, last years fruit, organic, healthy produce from a friend. Hopefully in the next week or so you will see her in all her glory.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
I was up and out early in the garden this morning. I am an early riser by nature but when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, I have just got to get out there. The photographs today were taken at 6.30 am. They are all beautiful in their own right. The magpie can be cruel, taking the eggs and fledglings of our song birds. The snail is so unloved by gardeners, but with age I have become more tolerant of these little creatures. Ok he had a jolly good feed overnight, a lot of my flower heads on this plant are missing this morning. BUT he will eventually end up in the tummy of a song thrush I am sure. She does her work well. Until that time live and let live. The ladybird is of course the gardeners best friend, eating plenty of aphids. My garden is full of life and beauty, not to everyones taste but certainly to mine. This is what I garden for, for those that choose to share my plot. I never know what I will find out there, I like that. Have a fun weekend bloggers!
Friday, 25 April 2008
You all seemed to love the carder bee that was on my header yesterday. TodayI found her in the copse amongst the wild flowers, so she is on the header once again. Pretty bee. We had a torrential downpour yesterday and it seems to have done my saplings and ferns a power of good. Look at the lovely new growth, so exciting, my trees are at the moment doing well. Endless joy!
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Just had to post this little beauty. I found it tucked away in a shady corner of the garden. Its one of the cranesbill, Mourning Widow. I love the cranesbill and have many of them around the garden but I have to say this is one of my favourites. Will post the others as they come into flower in the summer. And of course you know what I am going to say, bees love it.
The weather here is still so changeable that I have decided to work in the shed and greenhouse. At least the cold wind that is about can't get you in there!
My hanging baskets have never been very successful here. The site is exposed so often suffers cold winds. We are also South facing so the heat can often be quite intense. For several years I have grown the plants from seed, potted them on, then put them into baskets, nurtured them for several more weeks, and then put them out. Within four or five weeks they look messy and and a bit battered. This year I have taken a different approach. I have put herbs that I grew last year in the baskets and then put nasturtium seeds dotted amongst them. It took me all of a couple of hours, rather than two months of work. I don't know if they will be successful but at least they have cost me very little in time and money.
I have put the Auriculas in the greenhouse to save their pretty blooms being damaged by the wind and rain.They are looking really lovely. Also their are some tubs of summer bulbs and they are just starting to peep through the soil. I must say this spring has been cruel for the plants and the wildlife. I have noticed a drop in nesting behaviour, have seen very few butterflies, and a lot of the mason bees have not left the unit. I hope the weather will just get a little warmer and give nature the helping hand it needs.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
When we first moved here there was a huge concrete slab at one end of the garden. When money and time allowed we had it decked. It stayed like that for a few years. Last year I realised how boring it looked, so I asked Mr Practical to make something out of the deck planks we had left over. He made six beautiful planters for me fill with lavenders and annuals. I have changed all the soil and put the seeds in. The small lavender plants from the greenhouse have also been planted. One of the troughs I use as an alpine planter. It has worked reasonably well although I am a little disappointed. I look forward to showing them to you full of lovely blooms. As you can see it is a damp and misty day in Kent. Yesterday was lovely and sunny and I had dozens of masons bees having fun in my garden.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Took the dogs for a stroll along the lanes today. The sun was shining, and it was lovely and warm. Due to the rain and cold the wild flowers seemed to have done very well. They were all along the grass verges, hundreds and hundreds of them. I have many of them in my garden but they are not in flower yet, apart from the yellow, lesser celandine. The poets amongst you might like to know that William Wordsworth wrote a poem about this flower. one of the lines is "bright as the sun itself". Our native bluebells are now out, aren't they exquisite. The pretty pink flower is Cuckoo flower, it comes into bloom as the cuckoo arrives, hence its common name. Finally white campion, much loved by moths for the fragrance it gives off at night. Native wild flowers are so important for our declining bee population, world wide bees are going down in numbers. They pollenate our crops, our orchards, and much much more. Why not give a little bit of your garden to the bees by planting native wild flowers. Not only will the bees enjoy it, you will to.
Five little mason bees left a unit today. Unfortunately I was out to lunch so missed the first four. I was lucky enough to get two photographs. Look at the one with the tubes and you can see the bee carrying out a piece of soil. They will take out every piece of soil and clean the tube thoroughly and more than likely reuse the same tube. Anyway he finished his chores and took himself of to catch some sunshine. By the way mason bees are only half an inch long. The males come out first, and jostle for the best position. They will have to wait several days before the females come out. I am hoping in the next few days that I will see lots of bees coming out and will have a lot of photos to upload.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
The weather here is still cold, damp and windy. The spring has not really started yet. The bees are still not out and I have to say I am a little worried. Nature I know must take its course. Its a time thing, I must wait and see.
Walked the garden, wrapped in a huge coat with the hood up.
The chives and thyme are doing well. I love the flowers of both of these chopped in salads, makes it really tasty. The strawberries (alpines) are flowering well and just need my bees to pollenate them. Roses are healthy, and the ferns are just started to appear. Come on sunshine where are you. The saying goes "The sun shines on the righteous." I must have been really naughty at some point because it sure isn't shining on me!!!