Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Time to ponder

It was very cold today, the soil hard and the water frozen in the bird baths. Looking out into the garden there was a sense that, for the moment, it didn’t belong to me. My garden was held in the grip of winter. I watched the birds bounce on top of the soil – there was little in the way of digging for insects today. On days like this I suspect the birds rely on bird tables, feeders and plants for food. My thoughts drifted to what this year may bring to my garden.

A Garden Diary - I always intend to keep records of what I do in the garden. Intentions are always good though! I am one of those gardeners’s that is always changing planting schemes. Unplanned changes are the ones that I get the biggest buzz out of. I’ll go out, perhaps looking to do some weeding or pruning, and before you know it I am looking at an area from this angle and that. The boots go on, and out into the borders I go. This blog will be my diary this year - but I will still try and write a paper copy.

A Video Record - I have also walked around my garden with my video camera - when my neighbours are at work! Timing of videos are planned, picking a time perhaps in May then again in September. It has sometimes rained when filming and with the golf umbrella handle tucked into my coat pocket it has often been a fine balancing act. I narrate these as I would if I were talking to a friend, or fellow gardener, rather than direct notes to myself. They are very interesting to look back on. I do not check out the area or plan my route which means I discover things as I go. I have no doubt that someone has seen, or heard me make these video tapes – but hey am I bothered?

Now as winter claims my garden it is a good time to ponder – a time to look back and forward. Looking back at videos, photographs and notes brings the garden come to life again. Then I consider my actions. Should I really have done that? This year I must remember that!

Looking forward to Spring I am thinking about making a herb garden. I already have Rosemary, Sage, Parsley and Chives in an area which I have been clearing – but light is a problem here with limited hours of sunshine. I have not fully decided yet but often ideas come when I am walking round the garden and not actually looking for them!

Thinking again on the video records of my garden - I could now copy them over to DVD and watch them whilst ironing! At Christmas I received more memory for my PC so I could do this. I have a busy week – this would be a nice job for the weekend. I wonder how many changes I will look back on – smaller numbers in bird feeders will be one! I have just remembered another - quite a significant plant loss……

The photograph shown above was taken in my garden on May 19th 2006. Note the pine tree on the left – this replaced a bamboo similar to the one shown to its right.

Sadly I was unfortunate enough to have this variety of bamboo that decided to flower last year- it only flowers once every 100 years! I believe that the bamboo will die if it flowers - although it may be possible it could recover in 3 or 4 years but it will look pretty sickly. I decided to remove one and leave one. Sentiment here -this was my daughter’s jungle that we built together – in the rain.

Note the Gunnera, beginning to grow, in the centre of this area - it screened the sickly bamboo. The leaves of the Gunnera provided one other use, that of seed collector. The seeds from the sickly bamboo dropped down on the leaves of the Gunnera. I collected some but others were washed down below with the rain. I placed a tray of seed compost under the Gunnera positioned to catch the washed away seeds – I wonder if they will germinate.

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