Six on Saturday- My Garden view March 2 2019

Snowdrops are fading fast. We’ve had the warmest February on record, which means they flowered early. But late-flowering varieties came into flower and withered within days.

Warm weather means an early start for daffodils. I’ve planted wild-type varieties here. Amongst the trees. Fancy doubles would look out of place.

Pots of Paperwhite Narcissi have been successionally flowering since November. For very little work, staggering the planting, a steady stream of flowers are produced for container and cut flowers. The scent is so welcome when it’s cold and dark.

New variety Snow Baby was an experiment this year. They are perfect for hanging baskets, window boxes and containers. Long flowering- whatever the weather. A little beauty. It’s earned its place on my order list for next spring.

Terracotta pots of white primroses and polyanthus are all around the garden today. Such a fabulous scent – and much loved by bees.

Pale yellow wild primroses are popping up all along the grass verge and our front garden. I haven’t used weed killer or feed on the lawns for years. Nature’s reward is a blanket of wild flowers starting with primroses, then wild violets, blue self heal, and in the damper areas, lady’s smock, cardamine pratensis, or cuckoo flower. I wonder if we’ll hear the cuckoo this year. We only heard it once last spring. Sad to think that in my Grandfather Ted Fould’s day, cuckoos were a common sound in the woods around his home. Now we are lucky to hear just one.

We have lost half of our cuckoo population over the past 20 years. I’m anxiously watching the BTO’s satellite tracking survey showing the position of tagged birds in the Congo rainforest. Soon they will set off for the long flight back to Britain, via the West African coast.

Climate change is causing the timings of the spring season to fluctuate. Evidence shows that migrant species are not advancing their arrival times sufficiently to keep pace with the change. One thing we can do is not spray our gardens so the cuckoo and other migrant birds find insects to eat when they get here. And I’ll leave our surrounding hedgerows tall and wild, to encourage all types of nesting birds.

You can learn more and watch the satellite tracking here https://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking

I’m joining the Propagator with his Six on Saturday meme. You can see more here :https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/six-on-saturday-02-03-2019/

30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday- My Garden view March 2 2019

      • I think that’s why I prefer the dwarf varieties, it’s such a waste when they are face down in the mud where they can’t be seen and there’s no point picking them as they will be spoiled. Tête-à-tête Rip van winkle and Snow baby are so much better !

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      • I’ve just brought my mum a bunch of ice follies and blue hyacinths. They look so pretty on her kitchen window. Luckily my garden is full of leafmould so they weren’t damaged by mud splash. But I went to pick some more and the slugs had munched them. They don’t usually eat the flowers. Will plant shorter varieties from now on.

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    • Thank you. Hope we hear them this year. They used to echo around the woods on the farms my grandfather worked on in his youth. A sound of joy, he described it as.

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  1. Karen Climate Change is here and you know it and I have: it has been the warmest February in the records. That affects everything. The Snowdrops that should still be in bloom wither and appear the beautiful wild-type Narcissus that still is not his turn. Paperwhite Daffodils are a luxury. Daffodils “Snow Baby” are adorable. Never use chemicals in the garden as you do very well and I also can not have white Polyanthus that are jewels. That in the ground they nourish a series of wonderful and charming wild flowers according to the zone where you are and that there are beneficial insects for the plants and so that the birds and other animals eat. It’s a shame you have to ask yourself if this year you’ll listen to Cuckoo. I am lucky that there are several in my garden and surroundings. But it is horrible that his figure has fallen by half in 20 years. Climate Change affects migratory birds in everything: in their breaks in wetlands (several of them in Spain that are drying up) where they stop to rest and eat on their emigration routes, to their destinations to spend the winter that are also being degrading by multiple factors …. In short, it is all a chain of changes that many animals will not be able to endure. Others, such as the white stork, also migratory, are staying in Spain in the warm areas to spend the winter instead of migrating to Africa. Karen forgives the “speech” that I just gave, but the Climate Change and its consequence on the helpless animals makes me bad. Your photos of your flowers are magnificent like them. Enjoy your beautiful garden and all its flowers. Thank you very much for the links, the first is a jewel and I write it down in my notebook. It has been a wonderful blog. Love, health, strength and happiness for your whole family and for you. Take care and rest a lot, if it can be in the Summer House, better 🙂 Good weekend. Loving greetings from Margarita.

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  2. Lovely to see your Narcissus and snowdrops, I love them but they flower late here. While I was reading about the call of the cockroach I heard our resident Little Owl, it has been very vocal in the last couple of weeks; I think it might have already made its nest on the roof.

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    • How wonderful! A little own nesting in the roof. I would be in heaven! We have tawny owls calling from the trees in the paddock every night now. Hoping they have made a nest. I’ve been watching some on Wildlifekate.co.uk Sadly some eggs are infertile, but looks like some nests are going to be ok. Thanks for your kind comments.

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  3. beautiful as usual Karen thank you. I treated myself to some new bulbs this year and noticed that Snow baby just started to open this morning as the Orange king crocuses have faded – they are really pretty.

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  4. I used to hear cuckoos when I was a little girl. We saw owls, bats, frogs, hedgehogs, badgers, foxes, hares……..I’m 47 and I’m sad that things have changed so much in only 40 years. Im lucky in that I live in an area where I have bats, frogs, owls and hares in my garden quite regularly but I haven’t seen my hedgehogs since May last year and I worry that they haven’t made it through the winter. I’m passionate about wildlife so garden organically. If everyone looked after their own patch, wildlife may have a chance. It’s so nice to read about other gardeners who are as passionate as I am. Xx

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  5. Beautiful. I must remember to force more bulbs at the end of this year. I can’t remember ever having heard a cuckoo song in Scotland although it might have been more commonplace when I was a child. I had a look at the BTO page and there certainly haven’t any sightings this far north yet. I will let you know if I hear one this summer!

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  6. I was talking to my dad a few weeks back that we used to see the cuckoo’s without seeking them out whereas now I can’t remember the last time I saw one outside of a reserve. Sad times. But lots of lovely white flowers in your six to bring some Spring cheer.

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