Sunny afternoon, morning bike ride all done (actually quite knackering with heavy rucksack), swimming later so I rediscovered the garden.
Always a bit of a novelty, wandering around the modest plot inspecting how things are after the winter. There was a surprising array of stuff in bloom; starry blue flowers under the Rosa rugosa, snowdrops, primroses, little daffodils, forsythia, a couple of really early rogue tulips and a real find – a hellebore I forgot I had. Shame about hellebores really. They like the shade so they thrive under shrubs, which means you don’t get to see them – at least not in my garden. So I cut a few and brought them in.
I leave everything severely alone during the harsh weather. I don’t prune, tidy or clear anything. I always figure the plants need the protection of the old dead stems against the snow and frost. But today, when I cut down the tall brown stems of the paeonies, hey presto, there, pushing up from the soil were the tender, bright red stems of fresh growth.
The camellias are still showing colour in the buds, in spite of the recent frosts and the Cornish palm has survived the snow and chill in contrast to lots of other palms in other gardens which I’ve noticed have perished this winter.
The pond is alive with froggy activity at the moment. When you walk near it, there is an immediately boiling of the water as the frogs panic – in mid-mate or not – and dive for cover. Four blobs of frogspawn so far.
I keep finding little strands of Canadian pondweed on the kitchen floor and on the stairs. It’s fortunate that it’s the flora from the pond and not the fauna.
Having cats doesn’t really fit with the whole organic/wildlife gardening thing I’ve practised up until now but well, what can I do except hope the kittens continue to fall short of their killer potential.
That Hellebore is a beautiful colour, especially teamed with the Forsythia. My garden is a bit of a car crash at the moment. I was having a wander about today and its difficult to tell how many plants that I’ve lost, but it is quite a few.
For the sake of the wildlife, I hope Leo and Lily don’t develop into hunters. Mackenzie has his eye on the birds that are nesting in my shrubs, and he’s been clambering about in the branches……… I know its instinctive but I find it very unpleasant.
Yup I feel like you. I dread them turning into the kind of Butcher Cats that my friend has. Not a morning goes by when there isn’t a couple of mice or dead birds in her kitchen. God knows how anyone feels like breakfast after that kind of daily carnage.
Sorry to hear you’ve lost plants. It’s a pain, especially when they are well grown.
I grew a Carpentaria californica from seed once and that perished during a hard winter. Didn’t bother to cultivate unusual plants after that and the banana which outgrew the living room.
I wonder what it is that trips them over the edge from having the instinct to being a real hunting machine. All of my family’s cats have caught a bird or two, but none have been persistent offenders – thankfully!!!
If yours go down that route, I did read about the Cat Bib: http://www.catgoods.com/ which appears to be a more successful deterrent than bells.
The cat bib is *massive*!!! Like a human wearing a tabletop. I just hope mine continue to be ineffective, catching mainly waterweed! 🙂
This may be the reason why it is so effective – because they feel humiliated about walking around with it on 😀
All those little yellow feet dancing under their purple tutu are delightful. And the bud-bells fit beautifully on the grid. Thank you.
Well Spring has almost sprung, Mr Grout. Blooms in the borders and much croakussing in the pond from the male-voice choir. Thirteen blobs of spawn so far and still they are optimistically calling.