Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Malvern, tulip & nestbox meets

This week the MALVERN SPRING GARDENING SHOW kicks off the RHS show calendar for the year. Running from May 6th – 9th it is always seen as a very popular and a much loved show by all who attend.

Many bloggers have posted on Malvern in previous years. However, this year it is going to have an extra special blogging buzz!! Yep… some bloggers will be going that extra mile this year too. Quite literally!


Photo above courtesy of VP.
Please do not copy without asking her permision.


Thanks to Veg Plotting, The Patient Gardener (and I am guessing a few assistants) a group of about 24 bloggers are all about to Meet@Malvern. This is a first for UK bloggers where the US bloggers are on their third meet. Mm… I’m thinking this may not be the first meet here in the UK either :-)

Unfortunately I am unable to attend this year. I would love to have seen Yolanda from Bliss again. The ladies behind the US blogs the Fairegarden and Clay and Limestone are also heading our way and it would have been great to have been able to meet them too.

As for the UK bloggers, I’ve met none of them so this would have been a perfect opportunity. After blogging for over three years I really do see my blogging friends as friends.

So… just what does a gardener say to gardening friends when they go to a show? The first thing would have to be to wish them A BRILLIANT TIME!! Which I really do :-D

The second would be take lots of photos. The third? Bring me a plant back perhaps. Lol… well my gardening friends, if I may, I would love to ask that.

How about some emotional blackmail here… sorry, I’m shameless I know. If I had been going this year I would have taken lots of photos. Yep… plants, planting schemes… and people too this time.

However, I would also have been drawn to search out a particular plant to photograph. After taking photos of the tulip displays shown below I have found myself drawn to the flowers of this bulb that, to be honest, I have not really rated much until a couple of years ago.


Photo above of Bloms Tulip display being set up at Cambo,
courtesy of Cambo. Please do not copy.


Photo above of Bloms Tulip display at Cambo,
courtesy of Cambo. Please do not copy.


If I were at Malvern this year I would be drawn to collect photos of tulips. I wonder if any of my blogging friends going might be able to spare a couple of jpg's for me? Perhaps if I asked nicely you might post them for me too? (I'm sending you a great big smile :-))))

I know it’s a big ask when there will be so much chat and other plants to photograph. After cropping the ones I took from the displays above I just felt like carrying this Tulip Festival out from the real world out into the virtual world.

I was thinking how brilliant it would be if bloggers (not just the Meet@Malvern crew) posted one or more photos of tulips or tulip displays that they have enjoyed seeing. No text required. I was thinking of a simple tulip photo fest.


Please feel free to use and pass around the image above if you wish.


I’ll post my tulip photos from my Cambo visit with a Mr Linky link list below so you can add your post URL so we can all tulip browse. I’m thinking this could be fun - it would be great if you could join me. If you have posted tulip photos recently or at another time by all means add that link too.

Bloms Bulbs were setting up the display above for Cambo as part of the first Tulip Festival hosted there. In addition to this Bloms supplied over 7,500 which were planted out in the Potager area of the walled garden.

In my recent posting I mentioned that I was attending the Tulip Talk by Anna Pavord at Cambo last Friday night. A good time was had by all. She was wonderful to listen to sharing stories of her love affair with the tulip. She showed slides and gave some background history of the tulip too.


Photo above of Anna Pavord at Cambo
courtesy of Cambo. Please do not copy.


I took my birthday copy of her latest book ‘Bulb’ after chatting to fellow blogger Mr Brown Thumb after finding a posting on his interview with her. He suggested she might sign it. I would never have thought of that.

Thanks to Mr Brown Thumb I’m thrilled to say she did. I mentioned to her it was his suggestion and she remembered talking to him during her visit to Chicago. She was lovely to chat to for a few minutes.

So there we have it. Garden Bloggers are about to meet at Malvern. The Tulip meet at Cambo has passed and there is one more meet that has still to happen – this time in my garden! I am waiting patiently for this meet. It will be worth the wait too!


I 'll take a guess that you could be waiting for the latest Nestbox news. Well, I can now say with 99% certainty that the female Blue tit below is in the final stage of building her nest in my Nestbox that has a camera inside. We’ve seen this before – twice. She is at the bringing in hair and feathers stage now :-)


The first and second row in the montage above
were taken on May 1st and 2nd respectively.
The other three were taken on the May 3rd.
You can see how the nest has grown in depth.
She was settling down to roost in the largest photo.


May 1st saw our nest building female Blue tit get harassed by other blue tits. The video below shows the frequency of her visits and how fast she came in and how she slowed herself down by running round the box. She also had to defend her new temporary home.



This video has extra background music.
The louder sections are when the Blue tit has flown out
of my garden in search of more material.


Egg laying is close now. So much so that I got up at 5.15am this morning to watch inside the box. No eggs today… yawn!

Later this morning, I was also delighted to finally pick up some natural wool fibre (at RSPB shop) to put inside my nesting material basket. Wonderfully, I have watched her add some to her nest as I have been writing this.

The video below was taken today, May 4th, and shows how thick the nest has become. You will see the female leave the nest and head for the basket of wool fibres I put out and return to the nest with some in her beak. This will cover the eggs when they are laid.



This video has extra background music.


So to the nestbox meet… I’m waiting patiently to see the mate of our Mum-to-be visit the nestbox while she is in it. I think it is about time he appeared with a spider or two as a reward for making such a very fine job on their nest. I wonder if she will lay the first egg tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll not get up to see... then she probably will :-)


Update nestbox photo above taken at 10.15 on May 5th.
Wool over nest cup suggests we have the first egg!


Only specualation I know... this Mum-to-be is an expert. She has it well hidden above. Absolutely thrilled I found some wool just in time. I didn't get up to watch this morning :-)

Great to think that we've provided some of the duvet that will keep the eggs warm. When there are more eggs she will turn them around a little and then we may get to see them. Perhaps later tonight when she goes to roost it might be revealed for a moment. Mind you, she won''t want to start incubation until all eggs are laid. She might just roost outside the nest cup tonight. Exciting stuff :-D


Thanks go to Pauline at Cambo for passing on the photos shown above and for getting ID’s for my tulip photos taken on the night of the talk.

9 comments:

Orchids and Nature said...

Along with me I'm sure your followers will be waiting anxiously for the next episode of your wonderful Blue tit story

patientgardener said...

I will try to remember to take some tulip photos for you

Anna said...

Shame you can't be with us@ Malvern Shirl. I plant more tulips now than I used to but in containers only - those leaves do not die nicely :) In fact my next post will have a tulip theme if weather permits. Will certainly look out for them @Malvern.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I wish I could have gone to Malvern. What fun to be able to meet the UK gardeners. Your little Blue tit is working so hard on her nest. I hope she is successful. I don'thave many tulips in my garden and they are well past bloomning now. I like tulips but they don't last long here. This year was exceptionally hot so they didn't last as long as usual.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Wish you were going to be with us Shirl -
Tulips are one of my favorite flowers,
so I will be back to check out your Tulip photo fest
K

Midmarsh John said...

Great stuff Shirl. Lovely videos of all the nesting activities. Here's hoping you end up with a family to watch. Nothing doing with my nest boxes. There are plenty of pairs or various birds visiting the feeders but they must be nesting elsewhere.

Quicksilvercountry said...

I should be there Shirl on Saturday - watch this space

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

I couldn't get the time off work to get to Malvern either Shirl and I would have loved to have met fellow bloggers. My last post was on tulips - scented ones infact so I'll pop over in the next day or so to add my link to your Mr Linky.

I see there's loads of nesting activity in your garden ... I hope its fruitful.

shirl said...

Hello David, Helen, Anna, Lisa, Karen, John, Andrew and Rosie

David, good to hear you are enjoying this too. Things are getting exciting now. We have one or two eggs now :-D

Helen, thank-you. Hope all goes well with your plans for Malvern and all your garden visitors. Have a great time :-D

Anna, thanks. Not to be for this year. Wishing you all a brilliant time! Yes, the leaves aren’t the best are they? Didn’t know they would come up every year in containers. Perhaps you lift, dry out and replant? Oh… please do add the link of your tulip post. That would be great :-D

Lisa, yes me too. Perhaps another time, another place. As you know now, our little Blue tit has started to lay eggs. Quite exciting now. Then it goes quiet during incubation. I don’t have many tulips either but I was really taken with the ones I photographed at the display. Didn’t realise they don’t last any time with you :-(

Karen, thanks, me too. Perhaps another time. Excellent, if you’ve any back posts please add them to the linked list. That would be great :-D

John, yes it is. It just got better this morning too when I spotted an egg! It would be just brilliant if we could see the eggs hatch, chicks grow and all fledge wouldn’t it. Pity your nestboxes are not showing anything yet. Never say never though. Good you’ve got lots going on with the hogs though. Lovely to see first fledgings with you. Guessing Blackbirds will be our first ones as parent birds are taking away lots of food from the feeders :-D

Andrew, saw you were going. Good to read you’re enjoying gardening again too. Sounds like all is good with you at the moment too! Have a great day on Saturday. I’ll be watching ;-)

Rosie, pity you couldn’t get this time. Excellent on the tulip post. Look forward to seeing it. Yes, as you’ve seen we’re at the eggs stage now :-D