I was walking back along North Hill last week after seeing Limbo at Jackson’s Lane – a busy road on a busy evening – when I heard bird song. Surprised at any bird braving what was a fairly chilly dark night, let alone giving voice, I stopped to listen. Apologies for the traffic noise but I was impressed that he (she?) was cutting through so successfully. Question. What was the bird?……
The winter garden
The wild profusion that had taken over the garden in the summer has finally either died back of its own accord or has felt my secateurs upon it. This means that a number of my carefully positioned specimen plants which had been entirely smothered by the rampant geranium Rozanne (absolutely not knocking it but it sure does take over…) are getting their moment in the weak winter sun. Such as the little pittosporum Irene Patterson you can see at the back of this image, and my baby corkscrew hazel at the front.
It is also allowing the yellow and red stemmed acer whose label, infuriatingly, I seem to have lost, to come into its own. If I could only find another of them I would turf out the other small acer beside it so I had two ‘winter glories’ as they are so great to look out onto on a cold morning. (And yes, I know they are going to grow evenutually into sizeable trees but I am reckoning that will take a good few years – by which time I will be pushing up the daisies beneath them so it will be someone else’s problem!)
Mind you, the mimosa that you can just see in the back ground is doing its best to disprove that theory. In the two years that it has been with me it has shot up and despite having its taller branches lopped twice, it is already knocking on 40 foot high. And down at ground level the artemesias that I had cut back from a metre high mounds to ground level are also pushing back hard.
Over on the other side of the garden the creeper bank down to the fish tank window of my study is doing just fine. With the surprising exception of the campanula all the plants have done well with the erigerons absolutely loving it. I think they would happily take over the whole space if let so, come spring I will trim those great mounds back fairly dramatically.
Meanwhile, the birds are still enjoying the protection of the apple tree while they munch their way through prodigious quantities of best seeds and fat balls…
The big question is whether any of those bulbs I planted will come up – and whether I have fed enough sequestered iron to the large flame coloured azalea and the new white camellia for them to dazzle us in a few months time.