My support services were needed in the garden today while Ant put up a new bit of trellis so our Clematis montana will grow over the kitchen window. I felt a bit like a surgical nurse as I handed over the appropriate tools on request. It is, so I’m told, my fault that it’s not quite straight, but you’ll never know once it’s covered in leaves and hundreds of delicate pink flowers.
We made the most of the beautiful sunny day to wander around the garden and see what plants we’ve lost over winter. Sadly, a fair few haven’t survived the snow and the unusually prolonged icy spells, and it remains to be seen whether a few more will return again this year. None of my agapanthus plants look very healthy at the moment and I fear that could be the end of them. I hope not as they’re one of my favourites. The remaining head of a flower on a clematis that grows up an obelisk made me smile, as I’ve watched it since it was a beautiful flower, then a fresh seed head and now seemingly a ball of fluff.
The crocuses are looking stunning at the moment – we’re going to try to plant some more for next year. Ant also assessed which of our bonsai trees are likely to need repotting this year. Not wanting to wish the year away but I can’t wait for autumn when my bonsai crab apple will be covered in dinky little red apples after a year resting without fruit.
Apart from pigeons, the garden’s been missing birds since I moved in back in 2003 – mainly because it’s a new(ish) estate and none of the other surrounding houses really have anything other than lawns and kids’ toys. Over the last couple of years we’ve enticed in a very noisy pair of blackbirds and the pond has attracted a heron. We’ve had a breakthrough this year though, with the hard cold winter seeing an influx of birds taking advantage of our feeders and water bowl. We’ve had starlings, robins, sparrows and a variety of tits and finches. And we seem to have acquired a pair of doves, who sit on top of the pergola under a cotoneaster. Today, a chaffinch sat amidst the cherry blossom as we put up the trellis, seemingly oblivious to the fact we were there.
There really wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and apart from the odd plane passing overhead, there was hardly a sound to be heard. This must be one of my favourite times to be out in the garden. It might still be cold when you’re out of the sun, but everyone else is tucked up warm in their houses, and with minimal traffic noise because it’s Sunday, the garden seems so peaceful. Spring has definitely got its foot in the door though, so I’m going to try to make the most of the peace and quiet before summer arrives and it’s warm enough for the kids to come out to play.