Thursday, 23 May 2013

late spring in my garden

A few pictures from the garden this week. The bright yellows of early spring have been replaced with soft pale pink, blue and white.

There are traditional cottage favourites like forget-me not, London pride, bugle and granny bonnets (aquilegia). I have tulips for the first time this year and am already planning where to plant more for next year. The apple blossom is almost over now, only the pure white crab apple left.

The garden seems to change day by day at this time of year and I like to photograph each stage, in a few weeks time there will be a completely different set of plants in flower and a new set of pictures.

Monday, 13 May 2013

a day in my life

13th May 2013

This year I am starting these posts with a photograph of the trees just outside our garden. For the first four months they looked much the same but now in May, spring has finally reached the UK and they are bright and green.

I like my garden in spring, the plants all mingle in together and there is so much fresh new growth.

Today has been a fairly normal uneventful day. I got up at six to drop my husband at the station and then eldest son at work. I was back home for seven to have coffee and breakfast.

Breakfast was a mixture of oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, ground flaxseed and blueberries soaked overnight in almond milk and topped with raw cacao nibs and walnuts.

I don't usually work Mondays but I have increased my work hours recently to cover for a colleagues illness so I was at work today. I don't have any photos of the rest of the day apart from my lunch. Rice with beans, pomegranate, avocado, chopped dates, herbs and tahini dressing with carrot and raison salad.

At home after work I had a cup of tea with eldest son, did some housework and cooked dinner. My husband was later home from work than usual so I have just picked him up from the station. Time for a little knitting then I will be tucked up in bed in about an hours time.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

apple blossom time

We have four apple trees in our garden, a Bramley for cooking, a crab apple which makes lovely crab apple jelly and two dwarf trees of the eating apple varieties Discovery and Sunset.

The trees are all in blossom at the same time which should mean we get good pollination though the weather is dull and wet today and I haven't seen many bees.

The four different varieties have slightly different blossom. The Bramley buds are dark pink opening to pale pink petals with darker pink undersides.

The crab apple "John Downie" is pure white.

The Discovery has a slight pink tinge to the petals

and the Sunset has pink buds and very pale petals.  

It is such a lovely time of year in the garden and there is the promise of fruit to come later in the summer.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bank Holiday weekend

Here in the south of England the first spring bank holiday coincided with some warm spring-like weather. We were lucky, I know that it is still cold and grey in parts of the country.

We had a busy Saturday but Sunday and Monday were lazy days when we didn't stray too far from home. Plenty of time for walks, gardening, taking photographs, knitting and reading - a perfect bank holiday weekend.

Monday, 6 May 2013

dawn chorus

This is the best time of the year to listen to the dawn chorus, in fact Sunday was International Dawn Chorus Day.

We are lucky to live near woodland, there are many birds and I hear the dawn chorus from my bed most days. On Saturday when I woke just after five, I dressed warmly including a woolly hat(!) and went out into the garden. I stayed for about half an hour, drinking tea, listening to the birdsong and watching the sky turn from dark blue to pale blue with pink tinged clouds as sunrise approached.

I would have had to get up at 4:30am to hear the start of the dawn chorus but between five and six it was still worth getting up for and a lovely way to start the day.

Unfortunately many british birds are declining in numbers. When I was little we always seemed to have starlings and sparrows in our garden, this year I have noticed just one pair of sparrows but we haven't had starlings for a while. I hope we can stop numbers of our wild birds decreasing further so that we can all enjoy the dawn chorus for many years to come.

Of course, if you don't want to get up early to hear the birds sing there is always the "dusk chorus" just as the light is fading. It isn't as loud as the morning version but still worth stopping to listen for a while.