Monday, 20 January 2014


Yesterday there was a bumblebee on the winter flowering honeysuckle - in January!

It is so mild, it cannot go on. Temperatures 6 to 8C or more, hardly a frost at night, damp and misty at times, wet a lot, then the sun comes out, the birds are singing and it feels like spring is here. I just have a feeling that the climate has something nasty up its sleeve.

Snowdrops are well under way and I think I heard a song thrush not far away. The thrush is a summer migrant - it is too early yet.

In a garden there is a tendency to group items together - here flower pots and a sundial. The front pot has yellow winter flowering pansies over tulips, the pot to the right glaucous grass and a cross stone.

Some years ago R found a beach stone with a white vein shaped like a fish that appealed to her Christianity. For years I have been looking for one with veins shaped like a cross and last year I found one. It is now in this pot.
The plant behind should be dead by now, not being truly hardy, but it is trying to flower.

The third image shows a pot tray with many small coloured stones next to a semicircular stone trough that used to belong to my mother. The trough is very small and the hole drilled in the bottom for drainage is blocked - so, with all the rain, it has filled with water.

At other places in the garden are the stones I have brought from all over the country and from abroad.

Stones that look like eggs, have fossils in them, are crystalline or just an interesting colour.

Time to go out and garden.
I barrowed so much manure yesterday that I have an aching lower back - it is tough becoming a decrepit old man but the muck is the key to the growth of plants that erupts from the ground later in the year. One exception being the grasses - leave them in poorer conditions.

The first of our two amaryllis to flower, two stems, is over and now it goes on my study windowsill to build up the bulb for next year. The soil is kept moist and I will feed it every two weeks with a diluted tomato fertiliser. When the leaves die back and wither it will then go into a dark cool shed until next October end. Then we will pray for another magnificent show like this year.

My Canadian cousin Scott has Facebooked a picture of weighing scales - I know, I know, it is time to cut out the pleasure of eating - too much weight gain. So onto the scales, panic! Diet begins today - only two stones to lose (or my will to lose weight)(or my will to live!)

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