The plant to the right is a Schizostylis (not the most elegant of names) or Kaffir Lily and is flowering well, deep into December. The sharp cold spell followed by the mild (but wet and windy) weather has tricked some plants to flower - there is a camellia out near Bardsea and bulbs are already showing themselves. Primroses on the upper banking from where I have cleared sticks yet again have buds.
How long this warm period will go on for I do not know but suspect there is a nasty shock around the corner for some plants.
The wind blowing through the naked tree branches sounds like the bass drone on bagpipes without the rest of the skirl. I have been out and come in again - it is raining
When I went out first thing this morning the air was full of chattering birdsong - before the rise of the wind and rain.
In the cutting bed, now cleared of rubbish, I have left the calendulas alone, well, tidied them up a bit. They are like small suns in these dark days. They may well overwinter unless the cold is severe. The anthemis, below, are also still flowering sparsely - hence a photo with flowers in the corners.
When the weather is restless, as now, a low pressure whirling its way into Scotland and whipping us with its tail, there is a sense of being trapped - by the rain, the wind, the darkness. It is 2:30 pm and the twilight is drawing in.
This is a time for planning - and I know that the pond needs excavating and lining - a sweaty muddy job and one I will have to steel myself to. Ditches need digging, old vegetation removing from them and composting. Veg beds need new edgings, virus blighted raspberries removing and burning. Gardener needs new knee, less lard, more energy, better balance, (improved golf swing), more enthusiasm, more money (don't we all?), etc, etc, etc.
You have had flowers so here are some leaves. If I remember aright R bought this as a tiny plant at some coffee morning or craft fair. It is now a good sized bush.
It is outside the kitchen amongst the variegated shrubs - a contrast to green.
Collecting dead wood blown from the trees and building compost heaps, handling slimy nasturtiums and rich crumbly loam reminds me of an ash tree which grew beside Torver Beck just below the quarry at Bannishead. It was an ailing tree but gave new life to others that grew in its stump - call for a pome?
THE TREE OF LIFE
In a bracken free patch,
one cracked branch its own,
an old ash, a half stump,
stands rotting and rotted and
breaking into humus.
Above where the core was
some dead wood,
peppered by beetle jaws,
is crumbled, dry,
weathered - is compost.
through ivy stems
that tie the tree
together in a net,
bind the bark,
and from the bole top
grow rowan, holly and alder,
roots down the hollow.
One tree is four trees,
is old life, is new life