In Defiance of Winter
I spent some time in the greenhouse yesterday as it wasn't too cold, watching the birds come down to the feeders, that we have now hung again after the feeding station had been practically demolished with the winds. Although the greenhouse glass was pretty murky I managed to get a good shot of the Goldfinches feeding and squabbling. They are so colourful and exotic-looking it's hard to believe they are in a UK garden.
I have just done a post on my other blog here about Snowdrops, so I though I had better check up on mine. At last they are pushing through the ground - I only have this small patch so far, but I would like to increase their number for next year.
Checking out what else is coming through I saw that the Tulips that I have planted in containers around the pond are making a show. Tulips - in January?
Usually, at this time of year, there are no berries left on the Cotoneaster - it is a sign that the winter hasn't been too cold, as I have hardly seen the usual Blackbirds and Redwings gulping them down like there is no tomorrow.
This beautiful dark purple Hellebore is in flower - I am so proud of myself - I grew it from seed, and it has taken two years to finally flower. The one on the bottom right is a huge plant with lime green flowers, not particularly a favourite, but the one top right is pale pink when it is young, then the flowers turn a dusky red as it ages. I can't believe that once I didn't like Hellebores, so glad I changed my mind.
Finally, I spent a couple of hours this morning out in the gardening pruning the apple tree. My neighbour asked me to cut it back as it hung over her garden, and as her side gets the sun, the wasps arrive in their hundreds to eat the ripe fruit. So I cut off the best fruiting branches of the tree to satisfy her. If I hadn't done it, she would, so I had no choice really. My back was aching by the time I had finished - just shows how unfit I have become over the winter. Never mind - with all the jobs that need doing - I'll soon get back in shape for the busy year ahead.
I am a big fan of Lavender and the new plants I put in last year have bushed out really well so I took some cuttings to increase my stock. Most of them have taken, so I will put them into individual pots now and grow them on.
I haven't seen any Redwings in flocks in the surrounding fields either - perhaps they have decided not to migrate this year. Come back - you're forgiven!
|Apple tree prunings|