Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wintry Garden Pics

  The weather changed from the mild winter of Christmas into Arctic cold with freezing temperatures.The first snow of the year has fallen here blanketing the garden in white.Not huge amounts,but enough to make the garden look like an Xmas card.One benefit has been the increase in the garden birds feeding to keep their energy levels up.The Goldfinches are always feeding on the sunflower hearts.
 The view from the conservatory window.When it is cold,icy,and wet outside this is an ideal spot to look out into the garden and plan for the coming spring.Seed and flower catalogues adorn the table,and i have spent ages looking at all the delicious flowers,vegetables,and fruit in the books.Looking beautiful and unblemished.
 The Butterfly Bush needs cutting back but the long delicate branches are a perfect perch for Blue Tits,Coal Tits,and Great Tits to eat their seeds.I have even seen a small flock of Long Tailed Tits eating fat balls.
 The Bunting is still hung up from the glorious year that was 2012.The wind,rain,snow,and ice has changed the red white and blue to off colour.The Black Bamboo was groaning under the weight of the snow.I love its evergreen leaves and shiny black stems.They need tieing up though to the canes.They have a habit of falling over at the moment..
 The cold spell has sent the Blackbirds into a frenzy.They are always feeding,fighting,and flying or hopping around.I counted eight the other day.These are Russian Blackbirds who fly here to escape the freezing Arctic conditions.they probably think minus three degrees centigrade is balmy!
 A lovely Robin has been visiting as well.I love these chirpy characters.The red breast and snow make you think of Christmas.I think over half our Xmas cards had a Robin on the picture.
 The Himalayan Birch Tree is dormant at the moment.I'm waiting for it to thicken up,and for the white bark to appear.It is vase shaped,but hard to photograph with the bare hedge behind it.I love the ghostly bark of these Trees.Its growth will be a long term project to see how it grows.Vegetables,and Flowers are short term and easily appreciated.Trees take much longer,and become more personal when you finally plant one.We have waited two years nearly to plant a decorative tree in the front garden.
 Another plant doing well is these Rhododendron growing under the front room window.Two of them are over wintering lovely,one is very sickly looking and may be composted.I actually used acidic compost to plant these in to make them feel at home.Its a mystery why two thrive,and one fails?
The Vegetable seeds i ordered have come.Now i need the snow to go away so i can prepare the allotment for march planting.I also went to Hampsons and bought some half price bulbs.Three more Bishop Dahlias, and some Double/single Freesias that smell divine.
 I have perused the flower books and will order some Foxgloves,Night Phlox,Nemesia,Delphinium, and Hanging basket plants.I will concentrate on growing the vegetables this year.The Perennials will hopefully give a sea of colour in the sunken border.

3 comments:

jane.healy said...

I've just been offered an allotment - yipee. It came up so quickly becaue of council threats to x3 the rents if the allotment society didn't start self-governing ... and because it is in the no-chemicals part of the site. I am so excited. Love the bird shots today!

snappy said...

Congratulations Jane.It is like winning the lottery when you find out you have been offered an allotment.Does your allotment have an organic and non organic side?It sounds intriguing.Im totally organic.I dont use any chemicals,slug pellets,or weed killer.Its blindingly hard work weeding everything by hand but the produce will be pure and tasty.
I hope that the snow melts and the ground is not too bad for you.How long has it been vacant for?

jane.healy said...

The plot has been vacant for about a year - I'll be putting my raised beds onto it (I have a full range of the linkbords like yours) so that won't be too much digging to start with - and I will be in control of the the soil going into the beds.

The site has it's organic area and that's where I will be - I think there a few older people on the site that are set in their ways and a little inflexible (I say politely) so they want us 'hippies' as far a way as possible from them.

I want to put in a small pond, couple of fruit trees and bushes and maybe when I'm fully up and running a small greenhouse ... I think I'm running before I can walk!