Saturday, 8 March 2014


I start with a pair of collared doves, usually together wrapped in their lovey relationship. You can see where the colour dove grey gets its name. Here he is puffing out his chest whilst she gets on with the important things like feeding. He ponces around smothering her with his affection. She must wonder at his display - 'It is all very well, dear, but sometimes you are a bit of a prima donna.'

Then a cry comes from the bedroom (nothing to do with the doves), there is a heron in the pond.

Another grey bird but one with an evil eye, an eye on frogs for a tasty morsel. It moves along the walkway in slow motion, a big bird so it will need a lot of amphibians to fill its crop. It comes every year but there always seem to be enough frogs and new froglets (post taddie) to provide new spawn at the start of the year.

In the wilder part of the garden, by the stream, the golden saxifrage is coming out. A small flowered, yellowish green plant that forms carpets of early colour on wet bankings.

Today is a mizzly day - mild with very fine soaking rain drifting into the trees. The grass is sodden so I stay off the lawn. From my study the far top garden is misty and mysterious. Despite this precipitation the birds are crammed on the feeders. It says something for how waterproof their plumage must be.

One plant that has flowered all winter is the shrubby honeysuckle and, because of its scent, I think I would like more, near paths and doors not just on the lower banking.

I have been manuring again - mulching the climbers in the willow tunnel. (It is no longer a true tunnel as the osiers have grown out at the top - more a small avenue of trees.) The horseradish is stirring and has been mucked as the back of the herb bed. However, the herbs at the front need poorer soil so no feed for them.

And so to the purple crocus, one of R's favourites. These three are in our garden and I must remember to get a lot more for naturalising in the autumn.

At the church the whole graveyard is a sea of crocus colour - a purple pasture.

One of the problems with bulbs is recalling where they were after the leaves die down.
In the example shown a Fatsia has been bunged in by yours truly and plonked on top of some daffodil bulbs - which are now flowering.

I am useless at remembering what is where and too lazy to label everything. So, year on year, quirky things happen, surprise associations between plants - which, occasionally, work. (Mmm! Occasionally.)

Pastrami sandwiches for lunch. I say this for my North American readers, both of you, so you feel more at home. Then some toast and marmalade - I say this for my British reader the make he (or she) not feel ignored. Then a cup of tea for my Indian reader.

Enough prattle, I am hungry.

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