A Walk Around my Garden Saturday 8th February 2020

Welcome again to a peaceful walk around my garden. Enjoy the sunshine and spring flowers. The temperature today is 9C. There was frost overnight. It’s still too wet to garden, so I’m continuing to tidy the potting shed and mooch in the greenhouse. I expect all the spring jobs will come at once and I’ll soon be dashing about. But for now, it’s a slow meander around the pathways, taking in every tiny jewel-like flower, breathing in the honey-scent of snowdrops. Looking in the pond for signs of life- no frogspawn yet. Soon though. There are stirrings. I peer into the water trough and watch a tiny water boatman. I watch like a child in a trance as the tiny oar-like legs propel the boatman around its miniature world. A world I created. A simple metal tank, with a few spare oxygenating plants thrown in. I marvel at how easy it is to help wildlife. I quietly whisper ” I made this for you.” The water boatman dips and dives and delights in its domain. And I revel in every second of quiet and calming observation, with no other purpose than to just enjoy this moment.

White primulas on the garden tables. We’ve had honey bees looking for pollen, and a few sleepy bumble bees ‘bumbling’ about crashing around the garden. I’ve rescued a few, utterly helpless and disorientated, and set them upon a patch of wild primroses.

Aconites, or gold coins, as we call them, are spreading nicely in the far corners of the garden, undisturbed. This is the first year they have had to fight with cowparsley leaves, emerging early due to warm temperatures. I might have to intervene.

There’s more cowparsley at the top of the garden. I’ve never seen it look so lush in February. The hellebores will have a race to flower and set seed before being over-run by the pretty but invasive weeds.

At the top of the garden we store our wood ready for chopping for the fire. I stood and marvelled at the beauty of this red-stained heartwood. Sadly the tree succumbed to disease and died. But it will have another purpose for a year or two as a home for spiders, woodlice, springtails, beetles – insects that will in turn provide food for mammals such as hedgehogs, and birds. Blackbirds and robins thrive in this garden.

Snowdrops are spreading along the leafmould paths. Each year I divide them and move them further along the tree-lined tracks.

Snowdrop corner. Filling out nicely. Snowdrops come from Easton Walled Gardens, Hodsock Priory and National Garden Scheme open garden days.

Snowdrops look cheerful placed on the potting shed windowsill where I can look out and see them while I’m working indoors.

I’m very fond of this snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis Viridapice. Such delicate green-tipped petals.

I bought just three Madeline snowdrops three years ago from Thenford gardens. It must be happy, as now there’s nine flowers. It grows in nice moist leaf-mould soil under deciduous trees.

But I’m just as happy with my plain native snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, growing all along the hedgerow between the garden and the lane.

Regular readers know that after a ramble around the garden, I always take you out of the top gate and along the ridgeway footpath behind my plot. It’s good to see the changing seasons in the countryside. Our neighbouring farmer has finally managed to plough the field. It’s the first time he’s been able to get on the land due to the record amounts of rain we’ve had here over autumn and winter. Ditches are still full, and overflowing at the bottom of the hill.

There’s still a few crab apples lying in the hedgerow. We had a record harvest last autumn. Good news for all the birds and mammals eating them through the winter.

Some welcome signs of spring. Blackthorn blossom is starting to emerge.

And elderflower leaves are unfurling. The hedgerow is waking up.

Almost hidden in the brambles is a concrete trig point. A reminder of the past. Measurements were taken from theodolites placed on top. This one dates back to around 1936. They were built between the 1930s and 1962 and sited on the peaks of hills. It’s no wonder our garden is so windswept. We are at the highest point for miles around.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your walk around my garden. Leave me a message to let me know what’s flowering in your garden right now. And thank you for reading. I’ve checked the ‘stats’ and I am amazed to see 140,000 views for the piece on the dangers of sepsis and gardening injuries, and 70,000 views of these quiet rambles around my garden. I’m very grateful for every single reader.

Links: Six on Saturday- I follow this blog and like to join in. https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/08/six-on-saturday-08-02-2020/

In a Vase on Monday- another blog I enjoy: https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/ina-vase-on-monday-in-the-queue-for-green/

Waterboatman: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/bugs/lesser-water-boatman

Snowdrops, Easton https://www.visiteaston.co.uk/

Snowdrop festival NGS :https://ngs.org.uk/snowdrop-festival-brings-first-signs-of-spring/

Blackthorn https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/blackthorn/

Elderflower https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/elder/

All about the history of trig points : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-36036561

22 thoughts on “A Walk Around my Garden Saturday 8th February 2020

  1. The water boatman is happy and so are you: I really like that you made a “house” for him. I also get absorbed looking at any animal, whatever, even a motionless lizard sunbathing that has not discovered me and is at ease: I am happy to see her. I love white Primulas. Karen thanks for rescuing the bees and putting them in those divine wild primroses. It is fabulous that the wonderful aconites are populating the entire forest including its corners despite the parsley. All life is a chain: a tree dies and creates life and more life as time goes by. Nature is fascinating. I love Snowdrops and some on the windowsill of your Shed will be very happy when you look through it. Galanthus nivalis Viridapice and Madeline are two varieties that I love. The open field is magnificent and I like to know that there are still some crab apples: congratulations on the great harvest last fall! The blackthorn flower emerges: in my country house I have blackthorn and they bloom much later, at the beginning of May, even if it is hot. And the elder also awakens, divine. A trigger point: in Spain we call them geodesic vertices. It is scientifically proven that you are at the top and that is why the wind blows so much in your Karen garden! Thank you Karen, I really enjoyed the walk through your wonderful garden. Karen love, health, strength, encouragement for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Much love to Grace and Meg. Take care Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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  2. My Comment of yesterday via my tablet wouldn’t perform and disappeared into the glens of loss. Most frustrating.
    Having read what your temperatures were, we were at 4degC and less as the day wore on, I decided to amble through your photographic walk. The visuals were and are lovely. I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s so frustrating. That happens to me sometimes too. I appreciate your patience and trying again. Thank you. I am so glad you enjoyed your ‘walk’ around my plot. It would have been very precarious today. A tree came down behind the summerhouse and landed in the pond. Another is perched, caught up in the branches of adjacent trees. It looks surprised to be hanging mid-air, without roots. Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment. xx

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      • I’m not sure how I managed to comment as ‘Anonymous’ – honestly, I’m not trying to hide my identity (although I have been told I need to get a photo onto my Gravatar)! 😂

        There are so many things I need to tackle to make my garden look better than it is – and adding some snowdrops is another of those things I should be planting.

        It’s always great to find inspiration in someone else’s garden!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Finding inspiration in other gardens. This is very true Catherine. I’m doing it all the time. There’s a temptation of always thinking other gardens are better than your own. In fact, I work in some fabulous gardens where no expense is spared. But my own garden is special because it’s just that. Mine. I can do as I like, try things out, make mistakes. It is mine to potter about in, and I love every single inch of it, warts and all. Oddly enough, it said Catherine on my tablet, and anonymous on the phone. Oh well, I know who you are anyway. Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated. Karen

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  3. Love your hellebores and snowdrops and hope that they survive the gales this weekend. Like you I am listening to it howling through the ancient trees and hoping that they will be safe. Lots of flowers in my woodland but I haven’t yet noticed the hedges sprouting here, must have a look when I eventually venture out again!

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    • Thank you Pauline. We lost one tall spindly tree which fell into the pond, and not onto the summerhouse fortunately. Just listening to the wind picking up again. I’ll be glad when there’s more settled weather. Enjoy your weekend.

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  4. That’s an amazing number of views of your blog Karen – well done for the publicity you give to all aspects of gardening. The pieces you wrote about sepsis gave vital public health information for which we should be very grateful.

    Your huge clumps of hellebore amongst the cow parsley make a great picture, as does your snowdrops-in-a-pot. And how intriguing about your trig point – how many feet/metres above sea level are you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gary. It’s one of my favourites too. I’ve got one called Robin Hood (because we live on the boundary with Nottingham) and it has a really tall stem – apparently like a bow and arrow. It’s as undaunted by the storm as its namesake would be. Have a great weekend, and thanks again for reading the blog. x

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  5. This was another lovely walk with you around your garden Karen. 😃 The hellebores and snowdrops in your woodland are fabulous! It is amazing that your elder and blackthorn are already showing signs of life. No change here yet. But there are quite a few green spikes of spring bulbs showing. 😃

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    • Thank you Cathy. Goodness is it blowing a gale tonight. Sounds like an express train is going through the garden. We are huddled round the woodburner, trying not to think about all the trees in my garden. Thanks again for reading 🙂👍🌱

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  6. ‘Gold coins’ I haven’t heard that name before but it seems very fitting. Always encouraging to see the blackthorn in blossom – one of the best early sources of nectar for foraging honeybees as they venture out at this time of year.

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    • Thank you Keith. I can’t ever remember honey bees being out this early. Luckily we have lots of winter flowering shrubs in the garden, viburnum dawn, winter honeysuckle, mahonia and so on. They are also all over the snowdrops which I had never realised was such a good source of pollen. The bumble bees are nestling in the crocus. Almost too big for the flowers. Thanks again for reading my blog.

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    • Must admit, I’ve been digging mine up and popping them into pots. Much easier to see them at close quarters on the window. They will go back in the ground next week, divided. Good luck with yours. 🙂👍

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