Subtle and last minute am I for this Month’s celebration of blooms in the garden (it’s almost midnight on the 15th). Our snow only lasted a day (Phew!) but since then we’’ve had a mixed bag of cooler, wet weather with bursts of sunshine.
The bees have returned to my garden and the blossom on my Pieris (largest image in montage below) have been a favourite spot as have the opening blooms of my weeping Pear tree and daffodils Iced Follies. The first colour is showing in buds of my yak hybrid Rhodendendrons and (home sown) pale yellow primroses are creeping into corners (also popular with foraging bees).
Blooming the brightest in the bird population have to be the finches (Chaffinches, Siskins, Greenfinches & Goldfinches) who are making good use of a new feeder set up (more on that soon).
Considering photographs as well as practicality for visiting birds a passing Starling today shows how successful (popular) this perching hotspot is going to be when the first juvenile birds arrive in the garden.
Usually it’s the Dunnock that is spotted first in my garden with young followed by Blackbirds. By the increased activity on the ground with many male and female Blackbirds I’d say they are already in nesting mode. The Dunnocks are running around the ground purposefully too.
The photo above shows last year’s revamp to a small (basket based) border where a few Crocus and drumstick Primulas are still hanging on. I have been very pleased with the way this border has taken shape.
Also seen above are Pieris blossom (middle top in photo) which was deliberately moved there to get height for added interest and to attract passing bees. I also hoped I could get close-up photos of bees feeding but that is becoming a bigger challenge than I thought :-)
The border in the background is host to my new bird feeder set-up and home to some (fav wildflowers) Wood Anemones that are settled in around the base of my bamboo and contrasting well against the rich dark heuchera leaves.
Note the hint of red water in my bird bath. Last May I had this problem (see here) and I moved my birdbath into a more shaded spot. I’ll give it a good clean tomorrow and keep an eye on it.
In the shady area behind my garden gate, the oriental Hellebores are still looking well as are the (previously flattened by snow) Cuckoo flowers which I adore. I also love the tiny clusters of blue flowers from Brunnera Jack Frost which I added for its wonderful leaves.
Also of note above are the purple flowers of a dwarf Rhododendron I took as a cutting from a plant in my previous garden. That plant always makes me smile when it’s in flower.
The yellow flower in the pot on the left has also been making me smile. This Marsh Marigold is yet to dip its roots in water but… it’s en route to (still being built) new wildlife pond. This has been a stop start project but I have a vision for it now and it is getting there :-)
Finally, I’m not sure that my last photo above does the shape and slopes of my grass mound justice. It was interesting to see this idea featured by Monty Don on Gardener’s World on Friday’s programme. You can see my Primroses near the bottom and Cuckoo flower on the side. My hope is that both will spread themselves around here.
Note I deliberately cut around this grass mound to give it contrast and interest to the main lawn. I also cut around the narcissi, crocus and Fritillaries in the background too where I had a few planted a few cuckoo flowers too :-) I have a Hawthorn tree in my mound.
To the left of my Arbour I have another mound in process of being built which may lead to the edge of my new pond. I picked up grass seed at the weekend and once I’ve established the shape of mound No.2 too it will be seeded. Then the arbour will have a sense of place. Wildflowers and bulbs will also feature here. I love the creative side to gardening.
Playing with colour in the garden I do enjoy but I am still a tad careful and not as daring as I might be. That being said, my main back garden is really in partial shade so bright colours are more of a challenge.
So, that’s it for another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom day. If you’d like to see what’s been blooming around the world in the middle of April head over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens and go garden visiting through links there .
Hope everyone has had a great GBBD! It’s a tad late now, but before I go I’d like to mention something on behalf of the RHS. See link below for more info.
“National Gardening Week has been launched by the RHS to get the nation growing.
Thousands of people across the country are coming together and getting involved to enjoy, share and celebrate everything about gardens and gardening.
Communities and organisations are pulling out all the stops to host garden open days, garden parties, quizzes, plant swaps and a wealth of other activities to share advice or lend helping hands to friends, neighbours and the local community.
At the RHS we know what a difference gardening can make to our lives and how important it is to our environment. Gardening is life-enhancing; it creates beautiful spaces and brings communities together, but best of all it’s fun.”
This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in April 2012.