Monday, 7 December 2009

A week in the garden......

Heavy rainfall over the last week has left the garden looking drab......
Dogwoods add a little colour, but everything just seems a little messy at the moment.

I have to try and resist the urge to go out and get dirty......


As most of you will know I am not a 'fair weather' gardener. I am someone who needs to be outside.
Poppi is an outdoor girl and does not need any encouragement to help me with new projects.....
Riley, on the other hand, would rather be with Grandpop in the garage, helping where he can......
This has been an ongoing project for Poppi and I. The photograph does not really show the size of this border. I roughly paced it out today ....16 metres x 3 metres. We have removed a lot of turf....which is now neatly stacked in the copse and once it turns to loam I shall distribute it around the garden.
Whilst I have many Skimmia's in the garden I never tire of them and they do exceptionally well here. Their buds tease me at the moment....they will not open until early spring.
I also have a soft spot for Viburnum's.....several of these have been added.....
More ferns....I am becoming a little too obsessed with them.......but I do like evergreens.
I cannot wait to see this border next year........what started as just edging the border has turned into a new and exciting project.......
And look, just look, the first hellebore bloom. Don't you just love it. The detail is so exquisite.......
Even soggy blooms look beautiful on a dull day.
My garden drips with berries. The birds are not eating them. Are they telling me something. Is there a cold winter ahead?
Ivy blooms......they sparkle.......
The garden is full of birds........I never realised how pretty the back of a male chaffinch is.
Seagulls fly over frequently.......
Rooks leave me spellbound.....I just love it when they fly over the house, large flocks.......off to their roost.....calling as they go. I love this photograph......
Why would you want to do this on a cold, damp and gloomy day? Each to their own......
Sightings in the garden:
Sparrowhawk chasing a Blue Tit (I hope it was not Blue Boy)
Weasel in the copse hunting.......
But for me the most breathtaking.......I got up at 6.45 am one day last week. I had not slept very well. I went into the kitchen made a coffee. I sat quietly in the conservatory.....no lighting......the garden was still in shadow. Looking out I saw the wings of a huge bird above the trees.......silently it flew across the garden......and landed by the side of the pond. A grey heron ......I could not move.....she had seen me.....we had contact for a few precious moments and she flew away. Beautiful.....this, for me, is what my garden is about.......the wildlife.


Have a good week.......







37 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are having so much excitement in your garden even though the weather has been drab. That hellebore is gorgeous. I am surprised that it is blooming already. I hope it blooms all winter for you.

OMG Riley looks so grown up with his hair cut. What fun having your little darlings around.

I hope you have a great week too.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl, Nice to see your garden once more and lots of lovely photos... I can sit and dream...

I saw a Grey Heron a couple of weeks ago, not so strange you may say to yourself... Well I was on the bus into work, and it was almost in the city centre. I cannot believe how well grey herons are suddenly doing, they're everywhere!

I love your Hellebore, I'm waiting for mine to flower, I feel they are probably a long way off as I only planted them a couple of weeks ago. I wish I'd picked up the Hellerbores I saw at the weekend now... Argh you have me obsessed with them too :)

As for the birds... I think it's likely that they have enough other natural foods, especially with the warm Autumn they most likely gorged themselves on insects that were still around. I'm sure they will eat the berries eventually, who knows there may even be some left for some Waxwings...

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa.....The hellebore is very early......I hope this is a one off thing, for that particular plant and that the others do not follow suit.

Riley decided a fortnight ago to have his long locks cut. He does look grown up and very much the little professor that he is......

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....wow, it is so good to hear the heron is doing well. We have a lot of fisheries in these parts. Although the heron is protected, I do know that they are shot.....don't you just hate that?I actually believe the city is a much better place for wildlife than the countryside.......

It is always an exciting time for me when the hellobores start to bloom. It is too early, so hope the other plants do not follow suit.....

Yes you could be right....it has been exceptionally mild.....

Roses and Lilacs said...

Your garden looks so green. We have snow on the ground and are expecting a serious winter storm Tues nite into Wed. My garden will be full of birds looking for food.

Wonder where the parachuter is going to land.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie.....snow, brrrrr. The birds will need you,for sure.

We have a small airfield nearby, that is where he will land.

Rose said...

Cheryl, your garden looks anything but drab! The red berries, the yellow bloom, and all the green in your new border edging looks so vibrant to me. I'm not familiar with Skimmia's--is there another name for them?

I often get frustrated when I get out my camera quickly to take a photo of a bird and he flies away just before I click the shutter. And yet sometimes, trying to get a photo ruins the enjoyment of the moment. I am sure the mental picture you have now of watching the grey heron far surpasses any photo you might have gotten and was more meaningful for you.

Hope you have a wonderful week, Cheryl--we're in for our first snowfall!

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....tku....it feels drab, I think it may be the grey skies....

I only know the little shrub as Skimmia Japonica. It is such a pretty and useful plant. I love it in the Spring when the blooms open...they look like little tiny stars.

Do you know Rose I only thought that the other day. Sometimes I waste precious time trying to photograph something, rather than enjoying the moment. As long as I see it, does it really matter that I do not have a photograph for my blog. In the past I have never mentioned wildlife that comes into the garden if I do not have a picture. That will change....there is a lot of wildlife here, more than people realise......
I am rethinking my blog at the moment.......do you think it is becoming repetitive? Do you think bloggers would be interested in my daily activities here? I really am not sure......
An honest opinion would be appreciated......

Racn4acure said...

How wonderful to share this all with your Poppi! Love your pictures. A drab soggy day outside beats a dry day indoors at work! Art

Wendy said...

What a special and peaceful moment - just you and the heron. That is why you were up at that hour, sitting quietly, so you could catch her before she flew away.

Your garden is beautiful! There is so much to see and celebrate. I can't believe that person with the parachute! Not quite the right weather.

Riley looks so grown up and little Poppi so industrious. It's nice that they come over to help you and to visit.

I really enjoyed my visit today. You have a beautiful touch in your garden and with your camera.
Namaste,

beckie said...

Cheryl, your project is beautiful! I love all the ferns and the hellebore and Skimmia are gorgeous. What a thrill to see a heron land in your garden. And no need for a photo-we can all imagine her beauty.

I read your reply to Rose-of course share your daily activities! The daily work in your garden and sightings og wildlife would be very interesting. ANd think what a great journal it will make. I know you keep a private one, but..sharing would be very special to us.

I hope the rain stays away and you and Poppi can complete your project. She and Riley have grown so much since we first saw them. I wonder if they know how many admirers they have all over the world? :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Cheryl, I wandered into here from Liz's blog and have had a lovely time reading all your posts. I love the photos of the wren in full song - glorious!

I also enjoyed reading about how you've transformed your garden... we took over a full but fairly bland garden when we moved house about 9 years ago and I have planted many of the same things you have - and have got some inspiration from you too now!

I'm off to see if my hellebores have started flowering yet.......

Cheryl said...

Thank you Wendy.....I think you are right...seeing the heron and having a one to one moment, was meant to be.

I have heard that some people parachute out of the planes for charity....a credit to them...not for me though. I doubt my bones would take the fall......

Cheryl said...

Thank you Beckie for your support and encouragement. I do sometimes worry that people visit and get a trifle bored with the posts. Two years is a long time....tell me how do people blog for five years or more??

Poppi is coming for the day on Thursday.....we shall continue with the border as the weather is supposed to be fine......

Cheryl said...

Hi Nutty Gnome....shall pop over and visit your blog sometime this evening......

ShySongbird said...

In comparison to mine your garden doesn't look at all drab Cheryl! I haven't been able to do anything in mine for ages and it is a mess but yours looks lovely and even more so with pretty Poppi in it :) and my, how handsome Riley is getting.

I wish I could grow Skimmias but my soil is not acidic enough although you have me thinking now....there are always pots and ericaceous compost...

I have Viburnums, they are amongst my favourites and brighten the drab days so well. Your hellebore is beautiful, I must check on mine although I think it is still too early here.

A couple of years ago we had a Grey Heron on the top of one of our trees early one morning, unfortunately I didn't see it but my husband did, I'm sure you will remember that experience for ever.

I enjoyed all the photos and the leisurely stroll around your garden...thank you Cheryl.

Ruth said...

A gorgeous December garden. I like the look of your border and am sure it will be even more beautiful after the winter.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Cheryl, I am sorry you've had trouble sleeping. I sometimes struggle with that--I always blame it on the moon, but more than likely, it is just too much on my mind.

Your garden looks very green with beautiful blooms, berries, birds,and...oh well, I can't think of a "B" word for structural interest in the garden.

Riley and Poppi both look so very sweet. They have their own individual interests, and you seemed to have captured their personalities very well.

You sound like me, trying to predict the coming winter weather by watching and listening to the garden and the wildlife. I just hope the winter is not so bad that we can't get out to do something occasionally. I planted bulbs today...it was lovely.

Gail said...

Dear Cheryl, The garden looks wonderful...and the third photo of the grasses and seedheads is inspiring! I am totally not a detail person and if the header has been the same for awhile, please understand...But, I wanted to say what a charmer that sweet little bird is! Have a great week and some good sleep...that's where I am heading now. Good night! gail

Cheryl said...

Hi Jan....I am fortunate enough to have one area in the garden where I can grow Skimmia's Rhododendron's etc......of course that suits ferns as well. This has enabled to establish a woodland type area. I am learning about my soil......

I will never forget the Heron. I felt so connected with it, as it gazed at me through the conservatory window. We were only metres apart with just the glass between us. I always find this moments moving and magical. I know that you would to.....
Tku re grandchildren and garden, so kind.

Cheryl said...

Tku for your kind comments Morning Glories....

I have always been one that watches nature. I prefer the old ways, and often find that they work better than modern day methods.....

I have found a wonderful essential oil spray made by a local woman. I sleep like a baby when using it. Unfortunately I have run out, and she is not around at the moment......you simly spray it on your bed cover when you retire and sleeps comes very naturally.......

Cheryl said...

Hi Gail...tku re garden. I suppose I see close up and I know it is a bit like a mud bath at the moment.
With so much grass I have to be very careful where I walk so as not to compact the soil too much...
We have a cold snap coming....hooray.......

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Cheryl, Love the skimmia, though I've never heard of them before. Also love the wooden bench round the tree! But that last bird, witht he wings way above its head, sure is weird (HA!).

Beth said...

Your garden looks wonderful.
Every time I come home after a garden tour I start getting new ideas for my own garden. Iflorist.co.uk

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Even when your garden is dripping with rain it is a delight. I love seeing your garden in every season.
My gardens are under a heavy blanket of snow and temperatures have dropped to 9F- (-13C). I wonder how the birds can stay warm.
Thank you for this peaceful time in your gardens with your darling Grandchildren.
Your Grey Heron sighting was amazing! It is why we do what we do! Wonderful and so exciting!
Namaste,
Sherry

Cheryl said...

Monica.....you always make my day....tku.

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry.....gosh that is cold, so cold. I to worry about the birds when it is so bitter. They know where to go for shelter.....I supply plenty of hiding places here, including dying trees (so important). They live for the moment and do not see beyond.....we have a lot to learn, don't you think?

The children are always a delightful addition to the garden.....an endless joy for me and their grandfather.....

Thinking of you my friend.....

marmee said...

wonderful trip around you lovely garden...i always enjoy my visits. it has been all busy around here and i can't seem to manage to much blog reading.
i am having a cuppa coffee and thoroughly loving seeing your blooms and buds and birds.
happy december.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Cheryl, the bedtime spray sounds nice. Is it Lavender, or a mixture of essential oils? I have seen something here made with Lavender, but have not tried it.

CIELO said...

Your garden is a lovely place to be; regardless the weather..... I too would be there no matter if it's rain or cold.... we might not be weather fairy, but we love Nature and being one with Nature is our "modus vivendi".

Sending hugs and blessings to you and yours, and a huge hug for Poppi. Love you both!

Cielo

Cheryl said...

Hi Morning Glories....it is a mixture of essential oils, quite a number actually....the fragrance is beautiful. It actually works on husband as well....he was most surprised.

Cheryl said...

Hi Cielo....always a pleasure to have you visit.....I shall give Poppi a huge hug from you......

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Cheryl,
You're having so much fun in your garden. I love the photos of the plants and birds. What a joy to work in the garden and just enjoy nature.

Naturegirl said...

Cheryl: Your garden still has a wonderful energy to it although many of the plants are resting right now and overall you find it drab.. Those sweet little helpers surely light up the garden with charm!Feathered friends bring a special song filling the air of an otherwise emtpy space!
With much gratitude for regularly encouraging me as I walk my journey with cancer. hugs aNNa xo

FIONA said...

Cheryl, your garden, and blog, are wonderful.

It was so nice to "stroll" through your garden and enjoy the bees, birds, and blossoms.

It warmed me inside and out--we have lots of new snow. I'll enjoy following your garden while I'm planning new things for mine.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Cheryl,
I enjoyed seeing your garden and I don't remember whether those are your kids or grandkids. That hellebore is so pretty. Mine are covered with snow, which is probably a good thing, because some of them are in a spot the rain doesn't get to.

I know that moment you were talking about with the heron. I've had those with other critters. Sometimes you just have to treasure the experience however brief it is.

Beth said...

Thank you for this lovely tour around your garden- enjoyed it so much! You have cute kids :) Iflorist.co.uk