Waterford, southeast Ireland, 21st November 2020
There were moments during the week, moments which gave hope that the gloom, fog, mist, rain and downpours might desist long enough for us to do some gardening. We managed a walk on Wednesday, a full day in the garden on Thursday, and half a morning on Friday. That was it! The lockdown continues, the garden is a quagmire and I trot out bad humour and bad news with perfect ease – one has to excel at something, I suppose!
On a positive note, well, slightly positive; I wouldn’t wish to overdo this happiness thing; it just doesn’t suit me. On that positive note: I finished painting the garden furniture, a bench which needed a coat of cream on the legs; I did a bit of “cutting down”, just at the sides of the drive, working off the hard surface for the ground is squelchy and soft, and I caught up on the shredding of material for the compost bin. There was quite an accumulation but it has now all gone through the blades and has been added to the heap, neatly tucked in under several layers of plastic which sandwich a few cast-off duvets. Given the weather, it will struggle to heat up to any extent but will make good compost in time. Snowdrops are popping up all over the place and the season seems to be a little ahead of normal this year and we should have good displays in time. I’ll try not to bore you too much with photographs of snowdrops but they will be my constant source of interest for several months to come. Anyway, let’s forget lockdown and everything connected and get on with the photographs from the garden.
Let’s begin with mahonias which are in full flower at the moment, as a challenge to the season and a welcome source of pollen and nectar for the late-flying bees etc. Just two shown here, Mahonia japonica and Mahonia ‘Sweet Caress’.
Click the first photograph in each gallery to start a slideshow:
I only posted the photographs of the mahonias so as not to appear to sink completely into depths of misery and to avoid dragging you with me! What I really wished to show was this set of photographs earlier in the week which portray reasonably what conditions have been like here – foggy, misty, cloudy days.
The search for something interesting to make up the “six” of the “Six-on-Saturday” can be challenging on weeks such as this last. I turned to tree bark. Now, I reckon you will all recognise the white bark of Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ but what of the others. Have a look at the photographs and take a guess before clicking on the first to start a slideshow which will reveal the answers in the captions. Treat yourself to a, well a treat, if you have identified them all correctly – and report your success in the comments!
Cyclamen hederifolium continues to be attractive even after it has finished flowering. Some gardeners collect plants with attractive and interesting foliage, and I have bought a few over the years but don’t bother any more. Those I bought have become lost among the many seedlings which appear in the garden and these are interesting enough for me.
The pheasants have come to realise there is better fare on offer in the garden; that the smaller birds are being fed peanuts while I only supply rolled barley for the pheasant. Ditzy, the one which hops around in a giddy manner, flaps her wings vigorously without notice, jumps into the air, runs about like headless chicken (perhaps, not the best metaphor!), the silly one in other words has learned to intercept me on my way to the bird feeders and beg for a few peanuts. The others hang around under the feeders to pick up the small pieces which fall to the ground while the smaller birds are feeding – a reversal of what might be the pecking order in a way.
So as not to be entirely negative, there was an afternoon (Wednesday) of very pleasant sunshine when the garden looked well – if one took the long view and didn’t look too close or in too great detail. A good overall effect!
I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator” on his blog site. To read more contributions to the Six on Saturday theme go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read