Camassia, May 2005

Above: Blue Camassia, May 2005

Garden diary: April

Sunday 20 May 2007

Green leaves, and counting blackbirds

April was warm and sunny, with hardly any rain, and the ground remained dry for a long period. While this was brilliant in terms of making gardening and path-laying work much easier (and less muddy), it meant that the plants I'd just replanted needed frequent watering, to help them get established.

In more recent weeks it's rained an awful lot, and made up for the dry April. The rain has brought out the slugs and snails, which appear to be making up for lost time, and have chomped on some of the hostas, despite my best attempts to keep them off.

The large pyracantha I transplanted earlier this spring is still sulking, though putting out a few small leaves now. The other pyracantha, further down the garden, is a monster, massive and covered in bright green new leaves earlier this month, and now with flowerbuds soon to open.

Since the tulips finished flowering, the flowers seem to be mainly white - like the Choisya ternata, which were covered in bloom this year - but I don't mind the lack of colour. Green leaves and white flowers seems colour enough - particularly when there are so many shades of green. I've been admiring the green leaves of spring, and have just added a new page on "Fabulous foliage" to the site.

The blackbirds have raised their second brood, having started early with the first one. From the first nest, which I think was on the other side of the fence, in our neighbour's garden, they seemed to have two surviving chicks they were feeding. This time - at least when I last checked a day or two ago - they have four, all out of the nest, and all chirping to be fed. Trying to count them was amusing, as they were moving about quite a lot as I wandered around the garden attempting a full head-count. They have short tail feathers now, which means their flying is a little more skilful. When blackbirds are first out of the nest they don't seem to move much at all, but once they start trying to fly they're rather like we humans when we first start to walk - starting off quite well but collapsing into clumsiness quite quickly. In blackbirds this seems to take the form of not quite landing where they meant to. So we kept Rosie the cat in for a while, until they'd seemed to master the art of flying off out of her way.

And the swifts are here, having arrived in the last week of April, just a couple at first, but within a week or so joined by many more, and they're now all united in joyful screeching flight above the garden.

Back to May highlights and diaries


Clematis - The President, May 

Above: Clematis "The President", May 2002

Garden diary: June