Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sunday safari

It rained for 24 hours. The snow has gone.
Redwings feed on hawthorn berries. I can hear them calling to each to other. If you click on the image, you will see a lone bird.

Many birds have flocked to the garden. The song thrush is a personal favourite and I am always so pleased to see her.

Temperatures have dropped during the last few hours and rain turns to ice......
Moths gather around the front is sheltered.
Christmas box will be in bloom in a few weeks. It's sweet perfume will fill the garden.
I am getting ready for Christmas. The family will gather here. There is lots to be done.
This will be my last post until the New Year. I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas.......
Happy Sunday safari.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Me and my dog......

Nella is a rescue dog. She was abandoned in woods near to my home. When they found her, she appeared to have recently given birth. They did not find her puppies. The sanctuary that took her in, told me she wimpered for three days and did not eat.
I remember so clearly the day I got the call. "Cheryl, we have a dog that needs a good home. It will need a lot of space. It might help with your rabbit situation."
I was not sure, I had always had spaniels.

When I arrived at the kennels they told me she was a Patterdale Terrier. I knew nothing about this breed. We walked to her kennel. As I approached Nella ran to the bars and greeted me. I can truthfully say at this point I really was not sure.
at the time I had a spaniel, she was deaf and partially sighted.
Then there was Riley and Poppi. I bought Nella home for a weekend to see how she behaved. She showed such respect for Polly (my cavalier) and with Riley and Poppi, she was an angel. I had made my decision....she was here to stay.
Once Nella found her feet, she decided she was boss. Did I have a battle on my hands. For six months chaos reigned. She would run up the stairs and jump all over the through with muddy feet before I could grab her. Little puddles appeared on rugs and I despaired. BUT I was not going to give up on this little dog.......
She was worth every amount of frustration, every amount of mopping up and cleaning. She now understands who the boss is.......she obeys commands.......our bond is strong and I adore her, as much, as she loves me. Nella is without doubt my dog.

Every year dogs are abandoned or left at rescue centres after the Christmas period. Taking a dog into your home is a huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. With tender loving care and lots of patience, they can be the most wonderful companion..........I would not be without Nella, my life would be less, without my little dog.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

In the meadow we will build a snowman......

Yesterday the sun shone,
and melted the ice.

Today, I awoke to a different scene.
The snow has worked its way south.
Time for children to have fun.
Time to capture the beauty all around us.
But let us not forget those less fortunate than ourselves. The elderly and infirm.......those who are homeless.......those who sit alone and will not hear a knock at the door.
Also our wildlife who will need shelter, food and water on these dark and cold winter days.
I have filled all my feeding staions with fresh food. Roosting pouches are filled with hay. There is plenty of water. I have put food out for the rabbits, yes rabbits. I know, I know.......lets not go tender heart wins everytime.
I send my best wishes to those who live in Scotland, Wales, Northumberland and many other places in the North. Their weather is extreme.....but I know our Northern friends are a tough bunch and they will cope. They always do............
The snow continues to fall..........I am listening to Christmas carols. The house is very quiet. I think of all the celebrations that have taken place under this roof, and find it comforting.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday safari.......Narnia

The last two days, have been the coldest in late November, since records began.
Each plant carries ice crystals.

There is no movement........everything stands still.....waiting.

Their beauty captured..........
their displays breathtaking.
Apart from the birds, the garden is lifeless......
and so very quiet. And yet......
if we look closely, there is always something that surprises us. A shaft of light touches a seedhead........a solitary fly sits and dreams of spring..........
Happy Sunday safari.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday safari

It has rained on and off for most of the week. The droplets look magical on the Monterey pine. It has done very well here. Goldcrest visit the tree looking for spiders and other insects.
Contorted hazel drips with catkins.......this tree does well in a large barrel or pot.

Calendula officinalis was common in medieval gardens. At that time marigolds were used in the kitchen to colour soup and butter. In the medicinal garden its cordial was said to cure depression. The plants were important enough to arrive in America with the first white settlers.
Schizostylis Coccinea 'major' has strappy leaves and loose spikes of rosy-red freesia flowers.
It starts blooming in September and goes on (in mild autumns) until the end of November. It has done well and adds much needed colour on these rather grey days.
Aster seedheads are very pretty. They remind me of mini powder puffs.
Microgreens are easy to grow. This late crop is a tasty addition to salads. Thank you Sherry for the inspiration.
The garden is sodden from heavy rains and wildlife is scarce. My projects are on hold until the rain stops and the soil dries out a little.

A squirrel has decided to spend time in the old apple tree, much to the annoyance of Nella. She spends hours sitting at the base, waiting and hoping.........

Quote: Dilettante gardeners love the spring and summer; real gardeners also love the winter.

Anne-Scott James. Down to earth.

Happy Sunday safari.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sunday safari

Autumn gives way to winter,
native hops need to be cut to the ground. A job waiting in the wings. The list is long.

Chrysanthemum 'fireworks' is just coming into bloom. I am only just beginning to truly understand this autumn plant. They seem to withstand any amount of cold and frost. Their blooms are such a bonus at this time of year. Note to self: I must plant more.
The scent wafts from Viburnum tinus. A must have evergreen for those of us who cherish our bees. No wonder it was in all old gardens from the sixteenth century and earlier.
I planted several Arum italicum in the Spring. It dies down in the summer. It has just started to show itself, dotted along the woodland walk. It will add much needed interest during the short winter days.
I am aware of the changes around me. I walk the garden each day, happy to share the season with all that surrounds. The garden is hushed, there is a quietness that comes with the approach of winter. A much needed quietness.
Robins are ever near. They remind me of what is to come. I share my winters with Robin......he follows me around the garden. I always give him food away from the other birds.
The old buck is doing well. He is plump and ready to face whatever winter throws his way. We have experienced a period of peace during the summer and autumn. I fear this may be coming to an end. When food is scarce he will use my plants as fodder..........but I now know, from experience, the garden will survive. He will frustrate me for sure but I think I am learning to live with this particular rabbit. There is something just a little too cute about this old timer.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
Abram L. Urban
Happy Sunday safari.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

I was born to garden........

I never planned this garden, it just seemed to happen. My life is much the same, I am not a great planner........
And yet, for me, it works. Of course, there is always room for improvement

but I am so enjoying watching it mature and change.
I have made sure that there is always something in bloom, regardless of the time of year.
Plenty of berries for birds.
Food to help them through a harsh winter.
Plenty of blooms in case the bees wake from their slumber on a warm winter day.
I was born to garden for wildlife. It has given me so much pleasure....beyond words in fact.
I leave you with one of my favourite quotes:
Live each day as if it were your last, and garden as though you will live forever.