Sunday, 18 April 2010

Blooms and updates

Perhaps a late in posting to join Carol and everyone for April’s Bloom Day but here I am. Originally ahead of the game (taking my photos on the 13th) I then found no time near the PC! Too good an opportunity to miss, the dry, warm weather over the last week has helped kick start my garden projects for 2010 :-)

Things are taking shape out there now and although there is still much to do I do find this an exciting time of year. Yep, I’ve been a tad sore and tired but enthusiasm I am never short of when working in my garden. However, I am aware I have neglected my blog visitors and visits to other bloggers too.

Today we have had our first rain in over a week. Finally there was a time slot to start looking through my photos and building up some story telling montages. I never lose my enthusiasm for making montages either but probably spend too much extra time on them that I could use to visit other blogs.

Okay, enough chat for now. I’m certain I’ll not be the only one busy in the garden and short on time at the PC. I do hope you’ve been having a good time in your garden too be it watching birds, wildlife or gardening. I wonder what everyone in blogland has been up to. I'll have to get blog browsing myself tomorrow as its a little late tonight.

Let's quickly roll the storytelling montages…

Clicking on the montages will enlarge them.

What says Spring more than the many daffodil yellows, deep pink primula globes, tiny blue brunnera flowers, delicate pale yellow primroses, blossom with insects feeding and the robin following the gardener around. I've been getting followed a lot!


Tulips in flower tell us that Spring is moving on. Magnolia buds are beginning to open, wisteria buds will wait a little longer and crocus have left this Spring garden party! Soon to open fresh leaf buds on Hawthorn, Weeping Pear and Acers will take us through to the next stage. Climbers like Honeysuckle, roses and clematis too. Ivy leaves are attracting insects on sunny days.


With the schools off, the sunshine has had us out and about too. A wander around Scone Palace Grounds yesterday held the magic of Spring. The gardens celebrated drifts and drifts of daffodils. The beach hedge maze complimented them well. A complete contrast came with the blues of peacocks and a vibrant red flowering rhododendron. It was nice to see other families out too.


Back on April 13th it was hellebores and the perennial wallflower Bowles Mauve that joined my daffs in flower. Indoors I had orchid flowers (the only house plant I do) and vases of tulips. Back outdoors not all was pretty. Sedums are coming to life again but my cotoneaster is looking a little worse for the winter. I’m going to have to prune away the shrivelled uneaten berries.


This morning and the picture was quite different. The rain gave the garden a whole new look again. The montage above gives a little preview of what I’m been working on this last couple of weeks. My back garden hanging basket has had a makeover. Plants and rocks have been moved around… baskets of alliums were discovered!

My pond dig has begun and I’ve been a bit creative with spill. I’ll reveal what I’ve been up to with that another time. Time is needed for some weeding below the bird feeders now as the emergency seed mixes bought during our long snow spell have germinated.

Yesterday I spent some time tidying inside my greenhouse and shed as access had become restricted due to over use! A good reorg was required. Cleaning the glass in my greenhouse and treating the outside wood of my shed has to come up the list of jobs to do for the moment too. The next job with my pond is building a wall. That should be fun.


As I’ve not been on my PC during the evening this past while I haven’t seen much in the way of hedgehog activity. I continued to put food out at the feeding station and in the ground feeder beside my small pond. I have wondered if the building site around the new pond area might disorientate the visiting hedgehogs that pass by it. I hope not.

I have seen a hedgehog use the feeding station on a regular basis and using my night camera have been surprised to see where the cats do their night garden watching. They have used my arbour seat and have sat on the table next to Hedgehog Manor. I have seen one cat in particular almost follow the hedgehogs.

Edmund, our neighbour's cat 'cat watches' this intruder cat and takes time to pose for the camera. He hasn’t been seen following hedgehogs. No sightings on my cameras tonight out in the garden or in the nestboxes. Looks like we won’t be seeing nesting birds this year again. That’s a shame.

It was fascinating to see the hedgehog footprints in the snow at the end of March. But what’s that with the weather map above? No… don’t tell me we could be seeing snow footprints in the morning again. The BBC weather report says that in just a few hours at around 4am snow could fall in our area! Oh my... if the temps drop it will be a shock to our young guinea pigs recently back out in their outside hutch.

Gosh that is a bit weird to think that we could have snow at the same as volcanic ash clouds are above us. What a disruption this ash has been. I’d like to add that my thoughts are with those families unable to fly back home after their holiday break. Our Scottish school terms begin again this week.

Sorry, I really was trying not to chat on tonight. As always, after the weekend, I am wondering what has been visiting your garden and what garden work you have been up to. I do hope you had a good weekend :-D


Photos above were taken in and out my garden with the exception of the weather map image from the BBC.

12 comments:

Southern Lady said...

Looks like you have a lot going on in your garden. We have been busy too trying to get the weeds out of our landscaping. I can't believe you are still talking snow. Hopefully the little critters won't be too upset. Carla

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Your collages are all so lovely! Looks like spring has arrived at your place!

Orchids and Nature said...

You have been working hard both in your garden and on your collages, the collages are most impressive.

Liz said...

Hi Shirl,

Plenty of activity in your garden I see! You're not the only one with a building site, mine will remain so for a long time to come as I attempt to get rid of all the clay I've dug out of the garden - post on that illustrating just how bad the problem is will come soon!

We too finally have rain, it's been so dry here that on Saturday I had to get the hose out, everything was bone dry and suffering.

re: Orchids - they're also the only indoor plant I 'do' too, mainly because they need so little care.

shirl said...

Hello everyone, thanks for popping by. I always wonder if after an absence of posting and blog hopping that visitors will come back :-)

Carla, yes, it is a busy time isn’t it. Thankfully the snow hasn’t come here so looks like we might have missed it. The wildlife, nesting birds and guinea pigs will be relieved. It got a lot colder though. The sun is out again now. All the best with your weeding… I hope the area isn’t too large to keep up with :-D

Robin,thank-you I know you are a fan of using collages too. What a celebration of pink in your latest ones! Spring is definitely with you now too :-D

David, yes both take time but in different ways. Thank-you! I do enjoy making my collages almost as much as making my videos. I fully appreciate how much time you must take on your videos and they come over in such a relaxed way too :-D

Liz, Lol, you could say that! You have me looking forward to your posting now! I love to see other gardeners ‘at work’ too. I have used up the first part of my soil in another project that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing. I’m keeping that one back for the moment (I have my reasons which will become clear). What are you doing with your extra soil? Being so clay are you getting rid of it and adding some new top soil? Or are you finally digging out a pond now too? Yes, our rain was very welcome too. Yep… I had registered previously that we shared the same relationship with orchids ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

No wonder you haven't been on the pc lately. You have been so busy. It is difficult to stay inside to post or read posts when it is so lovely outside. This winter made us realize what a beautiful spring we are having despite the heat and lack of rain.

Midmarsh John said...

Lots of lovely blooms Shirl.

Thinking of your pond excavations, I wonder if you have visited The Garden Pond Blog:

http://thegardenpondblog.org.uk/

Might be of interest.

Anna said...

Enjoyed seeing your April garden Shirl. Great collages - those robins seem to have an uncanny knack of appearing whenever you do any work in the garden :) We have had some rain today but could have done with some more. I'll be out with the watering can tomorrow.

patientgardener said...

Could really do with some rain here in Worcestershire - having to water the borders as planted out so many plants in the last week. I have aa robin which is becoming increasingly friendly and waits for me each morning which is delightful

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I loved hearing what you've been up to. I like your writing style a lot!
Your collages all look very pretty.
Sorry to hear no birds are nesting. I've had wrens start nests in several houses for the last two years and then they leave. The Chickadees are the only "regulars" here.
Your Robins there are so cute, quite a bit different from ours.

shirl said...

Hello again Lisa, John, Anna, Helen and Catherine :-)

Lisa, you are right there. It is such a shame to be indoors when it’s nice. Hope you get short spells of rain to save you having to water :-)

John, its nice to be able to photograph the plants with colour again. Thanks for the link. I have dipped in and out this one in the past ;-)

Anna, it looks like we have a few plants in common there… love your collage too. Lol yes the robins and blackbirds that are super wise to follow us gardeners aren’t they? Hope you’ve had some light rain by now :-D

Helen, sounds like rain is on short supply all round. Was April not the same last year…. Mm did we not get a wet May then. Hope not, I’d have the rain in April instead. I know what you mean. The Robin above has been like that. I also have a Blackbird that comes to my window. It knows I’ve some sultanas in a container that I open from there. It runs along the edge looking up at me curiously :-D

Catherine, thanks I try to write my posts as I would be chatting in person. Lol… I do ramble on in real life too! Yes, it’s a real shame on the birds especially when I’ve cameras in the nestboxes. That’s the way it goes. You never know we might get a late nester yet. That would be great. Enjoy the nesting in your garden. Yes, our robins are quite tiny in comparison to yours too. They are real little characters in the garden. We never get flocks of them as you do with yours. One or two is all we really see… if two is seen then a chase off around the garden begins. They are very territorial :-)

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

I, too, enjoyed your collages, Shirl! You have a lot blooming. Can't believe you mentioned snow...hope it didn't actually amount to anything! I didn't realize you had the ash above you. Hope it doesn't create much of a problem for your area!