Monday, 18 April 2011

Garden Update.

The recent spell of sunshine has had a dramatic effect on the garden plants with many flowers opening much early than expected.

In the main border (quite small in actual fact) Brunnera 'Jack Frost' continues to send up its dainty blue heads above the mass of architectural leaves and the Cammasia's have just started to open their blue stars while in a pot on the patio a rescued Exochorda 'The Bride' is performing the best I have ever seen it.

 Large hybrid Tulips have produced some colour but I guess, as is typical when kept in pots, the performance tends to drop of each year. The 'Dusky Cranesbill' (Geranium phaeum) spreads itself freely around the garden so we should get a good succession of their small dark flowers; Euphorbia wulfenii providing contrast between the acid green bracts and the grey-green leaves; in the shade behind the shed there is a mass of pale-pink bleeding hearts (Dicentra 'Stuart Boothman') erupting above the finely divided grey-green foliage; the first Columbine (Aquilegia 'William Guiness) will soon be showing off its two-tone bloom and I have noticed numerous seedlings everywhere!    

While I inspect the progress of fruit and veg (Strawberries, Carrots, Onions and Peas) in the new raised beds a local Pigeon wonders how it might gain access to this fresh greenery! Thank goodness it is all inside a well netted fruit cage.

Blue Tit Nesting Update:  I have noticed that there have been a few searches on the blog recently regarding nesting and in particular querying "why have my birds built a nest and appeared to have disappeared?".

I believe our pair of Blue Tits completed the nest building about 9 days ago and since then activity at the nest box has been very sporadic. All species need to time their breeding to coincide with the relevant food source ... in the case of the Blue Tit this means insects and juicy caterpillars. If the eggs are laid too early then there is always the likelihood of failure either at the egg or nestling stage. I did see the male and female hidden in the Hawthorn today and Mrs.was fluttering her wings in the typical courtship display or possibly begging for food and a little later one of them entered the box for around 20 minutes. So.providing the conditions are right I expect she will start laying towards the end of this month. I'll keep you posted.    FAB.   

17 comments:

  1. It's good to see your garden doing so well. It will be some time yet for us. We can't plant until May in NY.

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  2. Amazing to see all the flowers in full bloom. Our ground is still 100% snow covered. You can see in one of my last posts what kind of weather we have.

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  3. Beautiful garden Frank!
    We are just starting to see green popping up in our gardens.

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  4. your blooms are lovely! hopes for a lush garden season.

    the pidgeon looks totally ticked off at you and your netting...

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  5. Your garden is just beautiful. I will enjoy watching it through the summer while we are in the tropics. Travel is fun, but there's no place like home.

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  6. Your garden is so very far ahead of ours; it looks delightful. Thanks for the preview of what is to come for us!

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  7. ...you have so many beautiful flowers. I love the Bleeding Hearts...they look a lot like our spring ephemeral, Squirrel Corn (also a Dicentra).

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  8. I think your garden will be so beautiful! Such a nice variety of flowers. And yes, keep us posted on the Mr. and Mrs. saga.

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  9. HI Frank...everything in your gardens is looking so pretty to me right now...our snow is all gone and now clean up begins not my favorite thing to do!! lol
    Thanks for another lovely garden tour!!

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  10. What a beautiful garden you have there Frank! Can't wait to see the baby birds...

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  11. It all looks lovely Frank. Every year when I see Brunnera 'Jack Frost' on blogs I promise myself I will plant some...and every year I forget!

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  12. Great selection of floral shots Frank, its strange things seem to be a bit slow on the flower front down here.

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  13. The Blue Tit box at work has 9 eggs now Frank, it's all go here :-)

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  14. Well done on the garden visitor in the previous message Frank and also well done for this new beautiful header!!! Gosh, it is very nice... As well as your garden pictures... I kind of envy you as nothing has started to flower yet over here!

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  15. Thanks everyone for your visits and comments re the garden colours.

    If we don't get some rain soon scenario 'crisp and dry' comes to mind so I guess the watering can will get a fair bashing!

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  16. What a lovely garden you have, Frank :).

    The first Aquilegia flowered in my garden today - only two blooms but I think this might be quite early!

    My Dad started making a raised bed for me today, which I want to devote to wildlife, but I'm not sure yet if it's going to be full of flowers for butterflies and insects or a mini wetland. :)

    The Blue Tits are having a great time pulling an old hanging basket liner to bits! Such fun to watch a tiny little bird ripping away at quite tough material! I didn't know about them delaying their laying, though of course it makes sense. We have positioned our box so it's in a nice sheltered area for them but at the same time I can get a clear view of the comings and goings with my binoculars so I'll have to keep an eye out for mating activity :).

    We have very friendly robins who will come and feed of my hand, and they have two young in the garden just now. I'll be interested to see if they grow up to be as comfortable around humans as their parents are.

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  17. Hi Giana.
    Great to hear from you. Everything is about 2 weeks earlier than last year due to the warmer, drier weather.
    Raised bed for wildlife .. great idea. Go for flowers it will be asier to maintain, otherwise you'll have to line it to retain moisture for the mini-wetland.
    Good to hear the progress by the Blue Tits and a very friendly young Robin.
    Enjoy your wildlife watching. FAB.

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