A walk around my garden 26 Jan 2021

I thought you’d like a calming walk around the garden today. We’ve had snow for two days now, but it is starting to melt. It’s currently 3C and rain is forecast. Snow covers a multitude of sins. You can’t see the brambles or stinging nettles. I’ve made a start on tackling the thickets- they have grown up in only three years of neglect. It’s interesting to see how nature is always trying to reclaim the garden. Always trying to take back what we’ve borrowed. We only carve out this place for a short while.

Bellis daisies. In flower despite the cold. We planted some in pots years ago and they’ve seeded about the plot. They pop up in borders, the gravel paths, and in small colonies in the lawn. I rather like them for their tenacity. Stamp on them (accidentally) and they do not flinch.

By the front door there’s a patch of Algerian iris (Iris unguicularis). It grows in the gravel spilling over from the path. There is no soil here. And yet, with minimum fuss and no maintenance, it flowers its heart out from October to March. Friends say it can be difficult to grow, so I’m grateful for my little patch of thriving iris. Last year it produced this pretty lilac sport. The mother plant is deep purple. I love it when plants suddenly do the unexpected. Don’t you?

The bank of wild cherry trees look like charcoal drawings in the snow. They are full of buds. I’ll cut a few twiggy branches and bring them into the house. They’ll flower readily in the heat of the kitchen. One way to bring spring forwards a little. It’s cheating, I know, but I can’t resist.

More trees surround the wildlife pond. It’s wonderful to think we are only four weeks to seeing frogspawn in the pond. Spring always starts for me when we see frogs again. You can learn more about frogs by following Froglife, a wildife charity dedicated to the conservation of frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards.

Here’s the link https://www.froglife.org/

We are seeing a lot more deer in our area. We think they might be Sitka deer. Sometimes I just catch sight of them out of the corner of my eye. They are almost like ghosts, drifting silently along the dark hedgerows. They seem to blend into the shadows and become part of the landscape. Sometimes, in spring, if we are really lucky, we’ll come across a fawn in the long grass. The mother is never far away, and we tiptoe quietly away, so as not to startle her.

We’ve turned the summerhouse towards the sun. Amazingly, it’s quite warm in there. Such a well-made building, insulated with thick, wavy-edge oak. They knew how to build in the 1930s. We are grateful for our sturdy and peaceful sanctuary. It’s the perfect place to sit for a while and read, or watch the birds. Sometimes we see a fox. At dusk, a barn owl quarters the back field. They hunt methodically, searching for prey by flying back and forth. We worry when the weather is stormy and wet, as it increasingly is nowadays. Barn owls have no waterproofing. Their soft feathers help them to fly almost silently, but it’s at the expense of being weatherproof. They struggle to hunt and find food in the rain. One heartbreaking evening last summer, we saw the female out in heavy rain. She looked off balance, her flight hampered by the wind. We watched as she wobbled and barely made it over the top of the hedge. Desperation must have driven her out in poor weather. She had two chicks to feed. Later, the farmer who checks the nests, found only one chick had survived.

I’ll leave you with two happy photos. Snowdrops always make me feel hopeful. They return every year, whatever is happening in the world around them.

And this beautiful glass ‘vase’ of flowers- a present from a kind friend. Certainly. We are all looking for anything that brings joy at the moment. Thank goodness for kindness, friends and family. And for flowers which always make us smile.

Let me know how you are all getting on. Are you managing to sow any seeds or do any gardening yet. Take care everyone. And thank you for reading.

I’m on instagram at karengimson1 and twitter @kgimson. Come over and say hello!

30 thoughts on “A walk around my garden 26 Jan 2021

    • Hi Cathy. Thanks for your kind comments. Well, the good news is the female barn owl is nesting in a derelict barn near here. We’ve seen her every night for the last week out at dusk. The white feathers really show up against the dark hedgerows. She flies about 2m from the ground, so the hedge is much higher behind her. If she sees us, she keeps flying, unconcerned, and then about 4m from us just glides over the top of the hedge and carries on along on the other side. I stood tonight and watched her fly by on the other side. The sound is like the wind blowing gently, although it’s just her wings. The air is perfectly still. You imagine you can feel a slight draft, she’s so close. Magical. Thanks for reading. Xx

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  1. Okay… surprises. The Iris is quite stunning in a subtle way. It evokes images of a snake charmer’s snake. The glass with flowers was totally unexpected. It raised a smile. It is a lovely gift and it will always be sunny whatever the time of year. xx

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  2. I enjoyed visiting your beautiful garden. I am envious of your Iris unguicularis which I have been unable to raise but perhaps now will try again this year. I love the snow drops in a pot I would never have thought of doing that and it is so pretty. I keep ordering seeds, a packet here and a packet there, usually plants I see recommended on blogs. I will not be starting sowing anything too early although it is very tempting. Amelia

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    • Thank you Amelia. I’m still ordering seeds. They are little packets of hope. I’m sowing a few pots every day and pricking out promptly this year – not letting them get too leggy. Thanks for reading. Take care. k xx

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  3. Thanks for a quiet moment in a busy day. We just had about two feet of snow here in Flagstaff, AZ, USA so are not thinking of planting yet. When we built our walk in season extender we made it a Gothic arch so the snow would slide off. I have been thinking that was such a good decision.

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    • That sounds wonderful, and such a great idea. I had to go out and knock the snow off the greenhouse and poly tunnel with a yard brush. I got covered in snow. Thanks for joining me on my peaceful ramble. Take care. Karen 🌺

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  4. Karen you also had a good snowfall; Thank goodness she’s going to rain and the snow is going to melt. I only excavated it where I planted it, the rest I left as is: so are the huge brambles, although the cuts from time to time! The Margarita Bellis is a treasure, in bloom even in this cold: I love it. The Algerian Iris is divine and colors the whole winter: I love the lilac “rebel”. The wild cherry trees on the snow are very special: a great idea to bring some twigs to the heat of the house so that they bloom, I love it. Karen that Spring begins for you when you see the frogs in your pond reveals the heart of gold that you have: I love it. I’ve seen the Froglife link and I’m going to learn: thank you. How wonderful to have more deer in your area! Seeing a deer next to you in Spring, it must be something so special !!!!!!! I’m very glad that the Summer House is hot. It is a magical place to be and do everything in a special way. It must be wonderful to sit and watch a fox, watch the birds. Seeing a common owl go hunting with that soft type of plumage that Nature and evolution have given it, the bad thing is that Climate Change is changing everything and no matter how sad it is, many animals have already become extinct because its habitat has changed very quickly at the dizzying pace that Climate Change has taken: it is a world drama. Snowdrops are divine and special – I love them. The glass “vase” is fabulous, cheerful, charming: I love it and I love it. Karen corroborated your phrases “Thank God for the kindness, friends and family. And for the flowers that always make us smile.” Karen thanks to you for writing. Health, strength, courage, hope, positive thinking and a lot of love for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Take good care of each other and keep you safe. Thinking of the Three Musketeers, Mr B and you, Karen with love. A hug. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx 😘🤗🌺🌷

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    • Thank you Margarita. Thank you for your very kind words. Sending back to you equally hope, courage, strength and positivity. We will overcome these difficult times, together. Sending a hug and affectionate greetings. Love from the Three Musketeers & Mr B. Karen xx 😘🌺❄️❤️ xx

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      • Thanks Karen. Together with our friendship we will give each other strength and encouragement to overcome all this and get ahead stronger. Much love for Mr B, for you and for the Three Musketeers. A hug. Have a good weekend. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx 🥰🤗❤🙏❄🌷🌷🌸🌼

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    • Thank you Anne. I love snowdrops too. It’s reassuring to see they haven’t been damaged by a foot of snow. They are resilient yet delicate -looking flowers. Keep warm and safe. Thanks for reading xx

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      • Oh Anne, I am so pleased for you! What a relief. My eldest daughter has had hers ( she works at a hospice) and I’m praying my youngest will get hers soon as she is on the covid wards every day. She’s just volunteered to go into the intensive care wards for the next month as they are so very desperate for staff, and patients are arriving every few minutes. She says it is like a war. I can’t wait to see her in the summer when we have had our jabs. Take care and join me again on my country rambles. Xx

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  5. That was a good snowfall you had, Karen. A nice blanket of snow is a beautiful sight, isn’t it?
    I’ve started to bring forced bulbs into our sunspace. I have snow crocus, and early narcissus is next. They do cheer us on these frosty days. Our night temps this week have been -15C and now a few inches of snow are excepted this pm. We still have two months to go before we start to see signs of spring.

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    • Good heavens! -15! We went down to – 6.5 and we thought that was perishing cold. Your crocus and narcissus sound lovely. Any flowers are a welcome sign of spring. Take care and keep warm. Thanks for reading xx

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  6. Lovely to hear from you Karen! Yes, every smile is precious these days and your Bellis flower brought a big one to my face, as did your snowdrops! We have got lots of snow here, and sowing will not start until mid-February at the earliest as the garden centres are closed until then and I need some fresh compost! I got a new seed tray in the post today (getting post is the highlight of our days at the moment! 😝) and I am starting to choose tomato seeds. I do have some unused from last year, but think fresh might be safer. We have lots of roe deer near us, and apparently wild boar, although I have not seen any signs of them on my rambles through the woods. Their days will sadly be numbered though as there is a premium for hunters who shoot them due to the fear of African swine fever which has already been detected in the Czech Republic just across the border from us.
    I would love a pot of snowdrops like yours. Perhaps my supermarket will have some. Thank you for sharing yours! 😃 Keep smiling. Hugs. xx

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    • Thank you Cathy. I’ve just dug up little pots of snowdrops to admire them close up on the potting shed window. They will go back in the ground when they go over. Must admit, the post is also the highlight of our day!!! We too are not going out, and no where is open anyway. Good luck with your seed sowing and purchases. Take care. Karen xx

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