Monday, 1 June 2015

 From a personal point of view I am glad to see the back of May.   As most of you know Spring is not my favourite season, purely because it is so unpredictable.    It has at times been exhausting.    Taking large pots back and forth to the greenhouse has become my daily workout :)
 The garden seems to be enjoying the cooler wet weather.   Roses particularly.
 A juvenile green woodpecker is a frequent visitor.   He has taken to the wildlife area very well.   Enjoying his daily breakfast of ants.
 Rhapsody in blue, a birthday gift from my mother, is just beginning to break bud.    This is a new rose to the garden, a new rose to me.
 Protected from rabbits (cage at night) and slugs(organic lambs wool pellets)  the lady slipper orchid is flowering in the woodland.     I am a lover of garden orchids.   When I saw one for sale at a local nursery I couldn't resist.    
 Friendly robin came for his morning chat......busy feeding fledglings at the moment, he stops by for some mealworms.  
 Whilst entering the copse this morning I could hear a mallard frantically calling to her young.     Following the sound to an area full of nettles, I saw two ducklings caught in the wire fencing.
I stood for a moment  to get my thoughts together.   I am allergic to nettle stings, so had to be careful.
Firstly, went to the shed to get some shears, then to the garage to get some metal cutters.    Armed with gauntlet gloves, I was ready for the challenge.       Nettles were easy to get down, although I did get stung, so took a break to take some anti-histamine.     Cutting through the metal fencing was difficult but I did manage to take enough away to reach in and get the ducklings out.      I gently picked them up, and put them over the fence to Mum, both swam away happily in my neighbours pond.

The day has started quietly but strong winds (gusts of 55mph) and heavy rain are expected tonight.

Better weather is expected at the end of the week.....cannot wait :)


  1. Those little ducklings were so lucky to have you to rescue them! May is one of my favorite months, but I can understand if you've had a lot of rainy days. Our May was unusually warm, and you know I don't like the heat:) Such lovely roses!

    1. It has been so cold and windy as well Rose. The heating has come on most mornings :(
      Today I am wearing a jumper with a vest......yes really, a vest, it is just so cold.

      I am pleased with the roses. Growing them in large pots seems to be the answer, the rabbits cannot get at them there :)

      Hope all is well your end.

  2. What a glorious woodpecker! Such handsome birds, are yaffles.

    Saw a dunnock with a beakful of flies today, and blackbirds are after worms with a vengeance as a drop of rain has brought them up.

    1. Indeed, very handsome Simon. I love the yellow rump as they fly away ...

      Our dunnocks are missing this year, glad that yours are doing well.
      Love to see Blackbirds tugging at the worms in the grass.

  3. Thank goodness you managed to free the ducklings, mum must have been frantic not being able to get to them. It's the winds that I'm fed up of, there doesn't seem to have been a still day yet this year, I'm definitely looking forward to some better weather. How wonderful to have a young woodpecker visiting, he looks so inquisitive. The lady slipper orchid is so exotic looking, worth the effort to keep them away from pests.

    1. Mother duck was frantic Jo. I was trying so hard to do the job quickly because of her distress but it did take longer than I hoped. Still all was well in the end.

      The wind has been so cold and relentless hasn't it? I am continuously clearing the garden of debris.

      I am thrilled with the orchid, I really do love them. They are hardy so hopefully they will increase has time goes on :)

  4. So glad you could come to the aid of the ducklings. The garden is lovely in spring despite the extra work. I enjoy the unpredictability of spring. Jacket one day and tee shirt the next. Of course I don't have to carry pots back and forth. I just sit and enjoy whatever weather May decides to give us.

    1. I wish that we had weather to wear a tee shirt.....jumpers, vest and even winter coat, is the order of the day

      I am glad you are able to enjoy the weather, in quiet contemplation...........

  5. How wonderful to have a green woodpecker in your garden! Like you I'm quite glad to see the back of May, it's not only been cold but like Jo I've had enough of the wind. Hopefully June will bring some better weather. So glad you managed to rescue the ducklings.

    1. I agree Rowan the wind has been relentless this May.....hopefully things will calm down soon.

      It was great to see the ducklings swim away with Mum

  6. Yes I´m also looking forward to warmer days, May was too cold but we had not much rain. The little ducklings were lucky you were there to save them, despite the difficulty with those nasty stinging nettles.
    The lady slipper orchid is a wonderful plant, wish you luck with it and then that cute pretty to see that in your own garden.

    1. The lady slipper orchid was an impulse buy Janneke. I am afraid temptation ruled. I should have walked on by :) Oh dear!

  7. Hi Cheryl
    It is awful here tonight more like winter - pouring rain, howling gales and thoroughly miserable - not a good start to June is it. Lovely picture of the green woodpecker we rarely see them here but did have a spotted one on the nuts this afternoon. Glad you managed to help the mallard chicks they do manage to get themselves in a mess sometimes don't they. Love your orchid too so precious. Have a good week once the weather improves a bit.

    1. Good Morning Elaine,
      Gosh what a night. Taken a quick stroll around the garden and things are not too bad.
      Odd plant down and a few small branches on the oaks.
      Flaming June I believe is the expression :)

      Hope the weather improves for you..........happy gardening :)

  8. Three cheers for Cheryl... So glad you were able to help the ducklings despite the nettles. I know what you mean about this crazy spring weathers. It has been all up and down here too. I am sitting here with the patio door open, a long sleeved shirt on and an blanket over my legs. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Busy in the graden this morning and relaxing this afternoon. Love seeing the woodpecker. He looks like a cousin to the Acorn Woodpecker here in the States. A very handsome bird with those big eyes.I can see the yellow peeking out from between his folded wings. I bet he looks like a streak when he takes off. That orchid is glorious. I wouldn't attempt to grow one here. I don't think I have the soil or conditions for them here. I think they are so beautiful. I am now wondering how long we will be bundled up. We still need rain. June has begun cold and dry.

    1. Cold Lisa..........what an up down Spring worldwide, it would seem.

      Yes the Green woodpecker is a stunning bird, I love the flash of yellow as he flies away.....beautiful.

      I am frightened to look at the orchid in the early morning..........I wonder if it is worth the trouble but I truly love it. Such a fascinating plant.

      Hope the rain arrives soon............

  9. Hi Cheryl... What a busy Lady, even being a rescuer of duckling!! How sweet of the gardener to help those little critters .

    The Lady Slipper is gorgeous, but sure is a challenge for the reward. I have one that is fenced in too because the deer like to eat it.
    The lamb wool pellet for slugs is very interesting,never heard that. I would like to know how that works?
    Your birthday rose is a real beauty, and a lovely photo of it.

    Weather has been crazy here too. Today it was 45 degrees, chilly and raining that is 20 degree below normal for June. May was unusually hot nearing 90 degrees on most days,and very dry.

    Take care

    1. It is so nice to know that I am not alone with my love of garden orchids. I must say it is so beautiful it is worth the effort.

      Slug wool pellets are made from British lambs wool. You place them around the plant and water them. The swollen pellets form a felt like mat that absorbs water from the slug or snail as they try to get to the plant. The pellets also contain abrasive particles which irritate the creatures foot. I have found them to be most successful. This year I have buds on my lupins, and the hosta that I have protected look good. The ones that I have not the leaves are like lace :(
      Also they are organic so will not hurt birds hedgehogs or other creatures in the garden...........

      Hope you get some rain Grace.............

  10. You are right May has been a funny sort of month, it's over now and we are into June...where's my gloves and woolie hat !!!
    Well done in you duckling rescue, nice experience to share, I got stung my nettles yesterday my hands have been sore all day, one vicious plant but good for butterflies, and how wonderful to have the Green Woodpecker visiting your garden.
    I just love the lady slipper orchid, one plant I would like to see...
    Amanda xx

  11. Take care with those stings. I had a severe reaction one year, it has made me very cautious where nettles are concerned. I leave the stinging nettles in the copse for the butterflies.....although I have to say I have never found eggs on them. Although I find the comma butterfly uses the hops in the garden. I know hops is the host plant but thought they would prefer nettles,obviously not.

    I did not know what to expect with the lady slipper orchid. It is extremely beautiful......I could not get an image to show just how much so ......

  12. Another lovely read and great pictures Cheryl.

    Rhapsody in blue - just beautiful.

    The weather has to improve soon, I hope

    All the best Jan

  13. Green woodpecker? Never heard of one - I'll have to do some research and learn more! I hope you were ok after your nettle sting. Those are so painful! And being allergic must be doubly so!!
    Love the yellow theme in this post (I like yellow flowers. And pink, and purple, and orange, and blue, and….)


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