Monday, November 29, 2010

London Bound

The snow is still falling here, and causing chaos around the country. Today is the day we are going to London for five days.
I hope that we can enjoy the trip despite the weather. I love London.
I will see you all in five days :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November Snow

When we were out last night it finally started snowing in West Yorshire. A dusting of snow covered the garden, and the plants.
This is a drying Verbena Bonarensis flower head draped in snow and ice.
I re topped up the birds food, and replaced the water (which promptly froze within a few hours!).
I have tomorrow left to blog before a weeks holiday in London with Cat.
I hope the snow does not disrupt our travel plans too much.
There will be one last post in November before I am on Holiday.
The snow makes everything look pretty, vibrant, and clean. Even tired, died back plants look interesting with ice and snow on them. The birds stick out even more against the white backdrop.
I love Snow...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Name Of The Shrub

This luscious green leaves shrub has these dainty white flower buds on it. I do not know what it is called. We had it in the garden growing in compressed soil. It is not very tall. I transplanted it into a small Grecian urn. I keep meaning to re pot again in a new bigger, roomier pot.
I have been working lots of nights, and day shifts. I keep thinking about doing a blog post but procrastinating.
The weather here has turned decidedly wintry. Snow has fallen for the earliest time in 17 years. Scotland and the North East have been hit by heavy snow fall..
Here in West Yorkshire the temperature has dropped to minus seven last night. The soil has frozen solid (good thing I planted the Spring Bulbs at last) and nothing is moving around.
The squirrel has blunted his claws trying to dig the frozen earth up in my planter tubs..
All the water in the garden has frozen, including the pond. The Pond has only frozen over the surface. There is water beneath still liquid. The resident Frogs are probably sleeping at the bottom, absorbing oxygen through their skins.
I topped up the birds food today. I'm always aware of their plight when freezing winter hits. There was a good program on BBC4 about the history of Garden Birds.
One of my favourite tags "Garden Birds" was a Victorian invention, after mass movement from the country to industrial cities. The workers missed the birds that they saw in the country. The only birds that followed were House Sparrows.
A severe Victorian Winter killed many Goldfinches, and started the craze to leaving crumbs of bread for the Birds. People were yearning for a country idyll, and the charitable urge to help all Gods creatures.
All the bird tables, Nesting Boxes feeders, fat balls, and water bowls came from this Victorian charitable instinct to feed the birds.
The temperature never rose above two degrees today so all the frozen water stayed frozen. December is nearly here.I wish i knew what the evergreen shrub was called.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birds And Bulbs

The two types of Lavender I have are still flowering away beautifully. I love rubbing the tough stemmed leaves and smelling the fragrant Lavender plant.
The Birds have been busy feeding today. The bird feeders have been busier than they have been for days.
I read that the birds I'm seeing in the garden will probably be migrants from Europe and other parts of the UK.
My Blackbird from May has long gone, and his Russian cousin Olaf is now feeding in the garden.
I saw Blue tits, Great tits, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons, Goldfinches, Starlings, and Blackbirds. I read that you will only see 10 percent of the birds that visit your garden.
There must be hundreds then that visit daily. I only watch the garden for some of the time.
I finally finished planting the Spring Bulbs. The nights have got frosty and the soil is starting to be frozen in the mornings. The birds water is also freezing into icy blocks overnight and needed breaking up daily.
I planted Daffodils, Narcissus, Tulips, Aliums, Dwarf Irises, Freesias, and Hyacinths in the sunken border, and along the edge of the shed. I need some pots to plant the remaining bulbs. I had more bulbs than i could plant...
The spring garden will be full of flowering jewel colours. The cold winter is approaching, but the thought of the spring will keep me going through the cold dark days

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn Robin

I spent the day today shopping with Cat, and tidying the garden up. We bought some bamboo fencing to edge the wildflower/pond area off. It will help support the wild flowers and stop them from flopping onto the grass.
I swept sodden leaves and debris from the pathway. This friendly Robin flew down to feed between the pots and was hopping onto and off the pots.
Last night was the last Gardeners World of this year. Autumn is fast fading away into Wintry weather.
The Hostas have been re potted, and the Roses trimmed back. I started to plant the Spring Bulbs but darkness stopped me finishing. I will have to do it Monday, my next day off. I have also tried orange peel in an attempt to stop my pots being dug up by the Squirrel.
The Robin is such an iconic bird. It fills your heart with joy when one stays with you a while, and sings for you. They have been living alongside man in Britain for thousands of years. Ever since we started turning the earth.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The shorter days have caused one of the Xmas Cactus on the kitchen windowsill to start flowering. Beautiful white, shiny flowers hang down from the green segmented leaves. The sun was shining today in between torrential rain showers and gusting winds.

Indoor plants can brighten up the house when the weather outside is appalling. Bringing colour and light to the house. I have seven plants on the kitchen windowsill. An Aloe Vera, Two Cactus, Three Xmas/Easter Cactus, and a Money Tree plant.
The front room has two Rubber Tree plants and a Spider plant that is hung on the curtain pole.
House Plants and me have always been closely associated, Maybe I like bringing elements of the garden indoors.
The gale forced Winds have wreaked havoc on my bird feeders. The tall feeder station got blown over and broke my new Nijer seed feeder catching bowl (that was under the feeder to catch the seeds and prevent mass germination on the grass below), and the seed feeder smashed. I need to buy replacements.
I repositioned the feeders and was rewarded by the site of a Squirrel, Eight Collared Doves, a Blue Tit, a Robin, and two Goldfinches in the fading light of the day.
The other pleasure in cold wet weather is watching the wildlife in the garden.I will keep feeding them throughout the winter.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

November Rain

It is a pretty miserable day outside. It has been blowing a gale, with torrential downpours. The Trees are being stripped of their leaves, and the leaves float high into the air carried by strong gusts of winds.
The flower in the photo is the sparkly White Begonia. It was rescued from the dessicated hanging baskets, replanted, and has regrown with vigour.
Autumn watch is on tonight again on BBc2 at half past eight. The fourth or fifth episode I think of eight.
I only saw a Squirrel on our fence, and a Magpie on the shed. The horrid weather has kept the birds in their roosts.
I'm working tomorrow but then have the weekend off. This weekends job will be to plant all the spring bulbs that are in the shed.
The allotment needs its winter clearing too if it ever stops raining. I have booked a week in London with Cat seeing candlelit music at Saint Martin In The Fields, and two West end shows booked so far.
I hope to have cleared the allotment and planted the bulbs before we get to London.I can hear the wind howling outside the skylight window.