Sunday, 22 February 2009

January /Feb, 2009 Snow and snowdrops

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I once bought some snowdrop bulbs which failed to thrive. Since then, I have read that you must buy them 'in the green' and had success. Most of these we inherited though and they spread year by year, about a foot a year. I've even transplanted some to the other side of the garden under the silver birch and they've taken. I'm hoping they'll spread out there too.

The beauty of them is that they have plenty of low light under the bare branches of the acer , and on the other, the traditional geraniums have died down so there's plenty of light for the snowdrops too. Later in the spring when these flourish, their leaves keep the snowdrops shaded from too hot sun.

I cannot see them from the house so they tempt me down the kitchen path to turn the L-shape into the garden. I might not be spurred to go outside otherwise! They gladden my heart every year.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Starlings in November Skies

A flock of starlings gather over the derelict West Pier in Brighton. Photographer: Mike Hewitt/Getty

It seems the awe-inspiring sight of starlings swirling in winter skies from November on is yet another endangered thing. How depressing. Numbers are declining. Nobody knows why. Use of chemicals in agriculture?
But more mysterious and uplifting - no one knows why they make the patterns they do. I feel a poem coming on.

October, 2008

Every year, we only see the splendid colours of the acer for a short time - even as short as a day. So when on the day we returned from holiday, gales forecast, rushed out and took photo. Just as well. See second photo the day after the gale.

September, 2008

What a sad little photo. Here was I planning to sit with cuppa, the scent of sweet peas filling the air. Instead no show. Of sun, or flowers. Despite one or two days of sun, it seems there is to be no Indian Summer. Global Warming? No, says Weather specialist at the Sci Cafe at the Filmhouse bar last Monday, the Hub reports back. Just normal patterns. Some good years. Some bad.

And a pesky squirrel has been digging up my cyclamen. Searching for bulbs no doubt. Well, there aren't any there but it doesn't stop him/her. Gave up planting crocuses (croci?)there after devastation every autumn. We finally clocked the culprit. Son J even has it on video. So I am presuming it's a squirrel again. Unless the local ASBOs get a weird kick out of rooting around inside front garden pots.

But very pleased with a romantic little vista through leaves at the bottom of my garden, through an archway of clematis montana and the silver birch in foreground. 'Through leaves' was a family saying - started by my mother's painter friend, Valerie Mackenzie. Mum and V would use the phrase to describe anything romantic and atmospheric. Glimmering of white at the bottom of the garden, especially at dusk when the hydrangea shine like ghosts. Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle inspired. OK so it's only a spot by the garden shed. We can have our dreams.

August, 2008

Droukit and drownded.

At least the lilies seem to like the cold and wet.

June/July, 2008


What I love about tulips. So uptight and then Bleeah!

9th June: Clematis Mrs Bateman, bought at Ingliston Show last year. I usually just buy at local garden centres but thought I'd buy something a bit rarer as it was Ingliston. It grows up the trellis arch - glimmering at the bottom of the garden..


This peony sulked in the shade and I moved it to a sunnier spot two years ago but it still failed to bloom. This year, however, there were 16 magnificent blooms. And they say peonies can't be moved. Having been uprooted from Wales and all my friends there and taking a few years to settle into Edinburgh, I empathize! Blooming now too, of course.

22nd June: day after Summer Solstice. Not brilliantly sunny but at least it didn't rain. We gave a 128th combined birthday party for us 3 and invited a small group of friends. This year a Big One. Son J's 18th. You can guesstimate the Hub and mine!

And it was sunnyish. And we were able to use our patio garden. And the garden looked lovely.