I managed to find a number of flowers to photograph in my garden this March.
We have areas in our garden that are left wild. This is one of the many violets that bloomed in March. I think this is an Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana )
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna ). Not only are the flowers so shiny and buttercup-yellow but the leaves are interesting too. They are patterned and blotchy with different shades of green and then there is the strange black line down the centre of the leaf looking like it was drawn carelessly with a felt pen.
This is all that was left of some of my favourite tulips after a Muntjac deer came visiting. I wasn’t too happy about this. I can see a grape hyacinth bulb that was dug up as well.
I am very fond of Scillas and this was a patch of them as they were beginning to flower.
This is a pea – Lathyrus ‘Spring Beauty’ just as it too, began to flower.
Our Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera ) always looks good against a blue sky. Cherry Plum are the first of the flowering trees to have blossom in the spring.
Cherry Plum blossom
Pots of ‘Tete a Tete’ miniature daffodils and just a few pale blue crocus.
Sweet Violets (Viola odorata ) growing under the Crabapple tree.
The first of the garden daffodils to flower. It isn’t easy to see in this photo but the trumpets are a darker orange colour. I think they might be ‘Jetfire’ daffodils.
A large clump of Primroses ( Primula vulgaris) growing in the verge at the front of the house.
Primrose flower. This is a pin-eye flower, with the pinhead-like stigma in the centre of the flower and the stamens hidden below.
There isn’t much of interest to report – we have been busy and we are all very tired but there isn’t much to show for it all.
We have had a new suite of furniture delivered for our living room and the old sofas and reclining chair have been donated to Emmaus a charity that helps and supports the homeless. They have a second-hand retail shop at Ditchingham, a village a few miles to the north of us which is where our furniture was taken. The new furniture is very different but extremely comfortable. It is also less bulky than our old furniture so our living room seems a little bigger.
Our old shed has been demolished and we have had a concrete pad laid next to the tool shed where we will put a new potting shed. Getting rid of the old shed, which really was an eyesore, has opened up the garden at the north side of the house. Richard has dug over the soil which was underneath the shed and will add organic matter to it to help rejuvenate it. Eventually, he would like to plant flowering shrubs there. He has also added compost to and dug over the soil in the vegetable beds. The potatoes are ready for planting and Richard will begin sowing pea and bean seeds in pots soon. The weather has been much too cold recently for anything to be planted outside and as we have an unheated greenhouse we daren’t sow seeds there just yet either.
Last week we saw quite a lot of sunshine and even though the wind was from the north-east and very cold everything seemed very spring-like. This week there has been increasing amounts of cloud and a lot of drizzly rain so with the cold wind it feels like a return of winter. The daytime temperature has stayed between 5 and 6 degrees C all the week.
I walked round the garden last week and took a few photographs in the sunshine.
A Mallard swimming on the big pond
Primroses in one of the ditches round the garden
Daffodils flowering on the bank of the big pond
A Rook’s nest being built in the Ash tree.
Greylag pair on the pond
Greylags on the pond
Greylags on the pond
I have seen the heron in the garden a few times.
I tried to sneak up on the heron as it stood at the side of the pond but it saw me and flew into the field behind our house. This is a poor photo that has been severely cropped.
I found a half-eaten fish on the path round the pond which could have been left there by the heron or by the otter which is causing owners of ponds in our area to wish the otter was living many miles away!
Mallards in the front ditch
Mallards in the front ditch
Mallards in the front ditch
Mallards in the front ditch
My choice of music for this post is Emmanuel Chabrier’s ‘Suite Pastorale’. As soon as I hear it I think of spring days in the countryside – cool breezes, sparkling streams, flowers and singing birds. I hope you like the music as much as I do.
I managed to do some work in the garden on Sunday; the first time in many weeks that I have spent more than a couple of minutes outside.
Some weeks ago I moved three tubs of spring bulbs – snowdrops with Tete-a-tete daffodils in two tubs and little blue crocuses in the third – from their winter-quarters behind the greenhouse to the front of the house under the kitchen window. They were ready to bloom and they have brightened up the area near the front door. On Sunday I moved the rest of the pots and tubs away from the back of the greenhouse either to the front of the house or to the rear near the conservatory.
The area round the greenhouse has become very wet and waterlogged and the pots were sitting in puddles. Richard and I had a talk about how to solve this problem and I suggested a French drain ( a trench filled with gravel) immediately round the greenhouse and then we discussed again our idea of putting flagstones round the greenhouse to make it nicer to walk on than muddy grass. We have a plastic compost bin near to the greenhouse and a lidded water-butt behind the greenhouse – the water-butt will then go on the flags and so will the compost bin. The water-butt keeps sinking into the ground despite the bricks and flints it is standing on (there must be quite a collection under the water-butt by now). Also, we often get rats, mice and/or voles getting into the compost bin and having the bin on hard-standing would stop that little game! They dig tunnels that come up under the bin and then make themselves at home amongst the potato peelings and weeds.
One of the daffodils that have started blooming round the big pond
We also discussed where we would put the new potting shed. We have a very old tumbledown shed in the middle of the garden. It is rotting and disintegrating very quickly and we need to replace it and we don’t want to use the same site for the new shed. We have a very nice tool shed near the greenhouse so the new potting shed with a large window and bench will go next to the tool shed. This will keep all the out-buildings together in one place and will save us a lot of time walking from one side of the garden to the other.
Witch-hazel by our front door
I am considering drawing a plan of our garden as it is now and scanning it so that I can include it in this blog. When we make changes to the garden I can then update the plan.
This is our new summer house
I mentioned in a former post that our old summerhouse was demolished and the base was extended in readiness for a replacement. The new building arrived and was put up during a gale on 8th February and is just what Richard wanted. He has been enjoying his room with a view and often sits inside it looking out over the big pond.
Hazel catkins on one of our Hazel trees
A poor photo of a female hazel flower. You can just see the little red tuft at the top of the bud-like object in the centre of the photo
Behind the summerhouse (you can’t see it from the angle the photo was taken from) is our large open compost heap where we put our bulkier garden clippings and waste. Next door’s chickens are often here turning it over for us and kicking it about and in the summer Richard often finds Grass Snakes sleeping in its warmth. Richard doesn’t like snakes.
Not all of the Hawthorn berries have been eaten yet. These two had fallen from an overhanging Hawthorn branch above and caught on this Elm twig
I have also mentioned in former posts that the garden is large and is mainly laid to grass. There are a couple of vegetable beds near the summerhouse and another mixed vegetable and flower bed half way up the garden. I had started to use this mixed bed when we moved in to this house but I haven’t had the time to do much to it since my father died and Elinor started suffering so badly with anxiety. Most of my plants there have died and couch grass and ox-eye daisies have taken over. Richard is using part of the bed for his dahlias and chrysanthemums and there is a rhubarb plant and some blackberry canes there too.
The big pond
The arable field to the rear of our house
There is an old rose arbour next to the mixed bed and on this side of the arbour Richard has made a flowerbed for his favourite flowers. He has also started to make a shrubbery fairly near to our septic tank. We have a large gas tank close to the house and I have made a small flowerbed on the northern side of it and filled it mainly with spring flowers. I haven’t weeded it recently and this will be a project for the next time I get outside.
There are narrow flowerbeds most of the way round the house which I look after and I have also started to landscape the area to the south of the house. I had made a flowerbed near the hedge at the rear of the house but again, I had to abandon this when Dad died and Elinor started to need more support and I had much less free time. Many of my plants are in pots and tubs waiting to find a proper home. I hope to make a gravel garden at the front of the house with paths through it from the front door to the drive way. I bought the gravel for this project eight years ago!
Cherry-plum blossom in our hedge
Cherry-plum or Myrobalan Plum (Prunus cerasifera) is not a native tree but has become naturalised here and is often found in hedges. It is often confused with Blackthorn or Sloe (Prunus spinosa) but the Blackthorn flowers open before the leaves come out and the Cherry-plum’s flowers and leaves open at the same time. The cherry-plum isn’t so spiny as Blackthorn.
The corner pond at the front of the house.
My music choice today is a song written by B A Robertson and Mike Rutherford shortly after the death of their respective fathers. It is sung by a favourite singer of mine, Paul Carrack, whose father died when Paul was eleven years old. It is a song about the regret we have when we lose a relative and realise all the things we should have said to them when they were alive. I am so glad I was able to tell my father how much I loved him and appreciated the love he had for me.
Moments from a Norfolk Country Cottage. The furred & feathered & the worn and weathered. A Druid Herbalist with a Passion for Cats, Vintage, Dogs, Interiors, Nature, Hens, Organic Veggie Food, Plants & Trees & a Kinship with The Earth.