A quick, very chilly, lunchtime browse for plants in flower today was a serious contrast to Monday’s garden wander showing a Scabious bloom. How quickly the garden can change in just a few days at this time of year.
On the 15th of every month garden bloggers around the globe share images of what’s in flower in their gardens - joining Carol at May Dreams Gardens where links to blog posts can be found. It’s fun to see what we all have in common and to share the differences we have too. January blogs are especially interesting.
Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (GBBD) everyone :-) Here's my contribution from Perthshire, Scotland...
(photo rotated to side view to show the insects more clearly).
Together with the odd snow covered, perennial wallflower Erysimum 'Bowles' Mauve flowers, the Scabious flower above brings my GBBD count to a very generous two! I'm not too worried there as I enjoy the winter structure of my garden more than blooms at this time of year.
A little worryingly for the birds, garden berries are really struggling holding on just now. Water for drinking is also a problem with ponds and birdbaths frozen over. Fortunately for birds visiting my garden, a small spout of running water is available at my more sheltered, rock pool pond with ground bird feeders nearby.
Wildlife Pond iced over (wind-blown bags below the ice… oops!)
The ‘Oops’ in the caption above refers to me not being a vigilant wildlife gardener in keeping wind-blown rubbish out of my pond – not good at all for any wildlife like the damselfly nymphs that I know will be living in my pond just now. I know this, after capturing video of them crawling along the water's edge during the summer. I also captured video of a mating pair of Large Red Damselfles laying eggs below lily pads and other plant material – very exciting that was!
Consistently heavy rain and winds prior to Christmas knocked my wildlife pond (not seen from any windows) out of my radar completely. When temps increase and the water thaws I should, fairly urgently, also remove the wind-blown leaves that are in the water as I spotted a small oil looking patch on the surface during my Monday browse indicating leaves are decomposing. This can’t be good for the wildlife either.
An even bigger garden ‘OOPS’ is required for the image below showing Gunnera flower spikes also taken today. On the positive… I forgot to add them to my GBBD count so that brings my flowering total to a more respectable three ;-) On the negative…
Answer: You shouldn’t be seeing them!
To clarify this further, this Gunnera is not flowering out of season. These flowers are holding on from 2015 and they might well be the last seen from this plant (although I have thought this before and it has come back). Why do I say this?
After posting on more than a few occasions on how to protect a Gunnera plant for winter, I haven’t followed my own advice here, here and here. These flower blooms should be covered at their bases (with only the tips exposed) to protect the crown of this plant and that is how a Gunnera survives the cold and snow of winter. And here’s me thinking I was an attentive gardener in 2015 (hangs head slowly down to keyboard).
Okay, I’ll stop rambling on and let you get browsing on through the many GBBD posts and other blogs on gardening, birds and wildlife – there are a lot out there. Enjoy :-)
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in January 2016.