Thursday, 28 February 2008

February sunshine

Yesterday morning in my Perthshire garden you could be forgiven for thinking it was spring! The sun was shining, it was pleasantly warm and I found some time to do a few jobs in the garden. However before I started, something caught my eye at the end of my lawn growing with the crocus.

Narcissi planted in my lawn with the crocus had put on a lot of growth and now we have flower buds forming as you can see above. That was a surprise to see as I hadn’t even noticed them coming through the grass! The rate of growth that they have put on since I last looked at them would suggest that they will be in flower by the end of next week. I went for my camera and had a quick walk around the garden before getting on with a few much need jobs.

The morning sun in my back garden was just gently shining through the grasses showing once again what great value the ornamental grasses have in the garden at any time of the year. The heucheras too were looking great and adding their own colour and form to the borders – I love the way the light shining through them shows up the veins in the leaves.

On to the jobs in hand next and I brought out a few bags of bulbs that I had bought in a sale late autumn last year. Oops, they weren’t planted and they had begun to sprout! Not much of a bargain sitting in my shed so I went ahead and planted them. Now, I have to say that a few odd bulbs had shrivelled up but on the whole the bulbs were still firm so I have no reason to doubt that they won’t flower for me. I planted them in pots in my borders as I have done others in my garden last year which will also mean that I can move them about if I want to change things around.

A few plants were sitting in pots ready for a good day to plant and yesterday was the day. Unfortunately by the time I had finished these jobs the rain came on so I didn’t get any photos. I planted a few snowdrops to remind me of my recent snowdrop visit to Dalmeny and a hellebore that I picked up with my bargain crocuses. This hellebore is a beauty and I hope to get some photos very soon.

Garden bird photos have been missing from my posts recently and this is simply because it has been too windy or wet to get outside to get any! Even from inside it has been tricky as the rain has been blown to the windows. However as luck would have it yesterday I spotted our recent addition to the bird community of my garden. We still have one collared dove visiting and as I sat at my window, after I had finished my planting, it came and fed on the ground below. So once again these photos are through my window. It really is quite a pretty bird as you can see and I am very surprised how much smaller than the woodpigeon it is I always assumed they were roughly the same size. The collared dove is just a bit bigger than the blackbirds but it eats as fast as the woodpigeon!

My Nestbox is continuing to have a blue tit rooster every night and a different female and mate visiting during the day. I will try to get some more video footage over the weekend. I am also considering if I should empty the box of the wood shavings. The daytime female is certainly making this her home by the pecking she has been doing at the entrance hole. I cannot wait until all the nesting action starts in earnest! I do hope this year we will see the chicks grow and fledge successfully. Oh yes... and I can't wait to see if all the bargain bulbs I have planted will flower!

All the photos above were taken in my garden on February 27th 2008.

10 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a delightful post Shirl. Love the crocus. It is amazing how they will seemingly pop up overnight. I have been watching for mine but not even any green. I have been concerned about this but we have had a colder than normal February so far. I guess I will have to be patient.

We look forward to finding Collared doves in our garden. There is a small community of them here in our little city. One of these days I hope to look out and find one has found our garden.

Anna-Flowergardengirl said...

You do have lots blooming and the grasses are thriving. The birds and stones all match which makes that look really pretty. I look forward to the flurry of activity too as they srart to nest and start over.

Azziria said...

We're much further on than you down here in the south - our narcissus are fully out and looked gorgeous in yesterday's almost-Spring sunshine. We've wintry showers forecast for early next week, though, so I'm trying not to let myself get too much into a Springlike mood!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The scene of the Crocuses & Narcissi in the grass is charming! I needed a shot of Spring sunshine. Thanks.

Frances, said...

Shirl, what a delightful post about flowers, surprises and birds. You must have really clean windows because those shots are very clear to my less than perfect vision. Good for you getting bargain bulbs too, always a plus.

Frances at Faire Garden

Barbara said...

Yesterday I did almost the same work as you...planting the rest of the bulbs I bought last autumn ;-) ! This also in the hope that they will bloom sometime....I love your flower picture on the lawn with the crocus!

jodi said...

Sunny here the past couple of days, but wayyyyy cold, Shirl, so the only gardening I'm doing is indoors, or in my head! Or via blogs...

Cabs said...

How delightful! Gives me hope that Spring will indeed one day arrive here as well!
Carol'
terranovadesign@blogspot.com

Border Reiver said...

Hi Shirl, although many people don't, I'm fond of Collard Doves too. Had a pair sitting on eggs on the 26th Jan (it's a lot warmer than Perthshire along the Bristol Channel), sadly short lived after a gale threw the eggs out. Amazing to think, 50 years ago they were almost unheard of in the UK. One of the fastest expansions of a species range in history, in 30 years went from v rare to abundant. As for your blue tits, might be worth cleaning some of the shavings out the box out, helps remove parasites. This time of year is just wonderful, everywhere I look blossom and spring flowers down here.

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa, Anna, Mr McGregor’s Daughter, Frances, Barbara, Jodi, Border and hello Azziria and Carol :-)

Lisa – Thanks, I have to honest and say that I wish I had planted bulbs in my lawn years ago as I just love seeing them grow there. I have some lovely narcissi varieties and fritillaries too. I hope you don’t go from a cold February to a quick warm spring as the birds nesting etc will suffer too. I do hope a collared dove finds your garden – I enjoy seeing ours although I don’t see it every day. I have been told that you will not get just one visiting and they could be a pest however, so far we still only have the one – and it is not the bravest bird in the garden :-D

Anna – We are lucky to have some little bursts of colour at the moment and the grasses are just great especially with the strong winds that we have had recently. Yes, I noticed the collared dove almost blend into the stones too. Nesting, oh if you have never seen action from inside a Nestbox before you are really in for a treat – it is addictive viewing :-D

Azziria – Oh my… what wonderful photos on your blog! Yes, people outside the UK may not realise that across the UK the clock of nature varies. I have noticed as a general guide that here in Perthshire we are roughly two weeks behind the south of England – that includes nesting birds too. Yes, I agree winter is mostly likely to bite again before we hit spring so it is great to enjoy the garden when we get days like this :-D

Mr McGregor’s Daughter – Oh, I love it too and wait until you see the varieties of narcissi I have growing there and then the fritillaries join in the display! Wishing you Spring sunshine soon :-D

Frances – Thank-you, I enjoyed doing an update on the garden post. My windows are not perfectly clean however I use a zoom lens in my camera to catch the birds in this area so that must help! Yes, it is great to get bargains with plants :-D

Barbara – Ah… great to hear of more gardening with you in Switzerland. You have had it pretty cold haven’t you this must be great to get out again in the sunshine! Oh… this bulb area will just get better :-D

Jodi – I suppose for the moment you will just have to enjoy looking at the sunshine until it gets warm enough to get outside in your Nova Scotia garden! I look forward to seeing Spring from your garden :-D

Carol – Thank-you! Yes, it is great to see the first signs of spring although they way our weather goes here at this time of years it could just as easily get covered with snow at any time :-D

Border – Hi again, I agree so far I have enjoyed seeing the collared dove too. I suppose it would be different if I had many visiting. Gosh eggs in January, yes not perhaps the best time of year for a nest in a tree! Gosh that is a quick – I had no idea they were fairly recent to the UK. Yes, I think I will take your advice on the Nestbox – we’ll wait and see if the wind dies down first. I agree, at this time of year, it is great to see just the simplest things like the bulbs coming through the ground and buds on the trees :-D