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Oddments of Spring flowers

13 comments


I have been busy weeding some of my garden beds, disgusting how bad they were, just goes to prove that a tidy up before the winter can save a multitude of work in the Spring! Perhaps I will remember that this year – or not.
I usually like to leave all the seed heads for the birds to pick over, we get flocks of Goldfinches perched precariously on stems of the Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) especially.
Leaving the seed heads of course means that this seeds itself everywhere, but providing you don’t leave it too long, can be pulled out. It’s a really tough plant to get out if it gets a good foothold, or perhaps I’ve just got weak!

Sitting weeding on Saturday, I have to sit, arthritic back, it’s amazing just what you can see if you sit still enough. Naturally I had a pair of Robins with me as you do when you turn over any soil. One was within three inches of my knees and the other was rooting about collecting food in it’s beak. Thinking perhaps it had nestlings somewhere, I sat and watching quietly (any excuse to stop) and as soon as it had a beak full it hopped over to the other Robin and fed it. They were both adult birds, so is this a bloke trying to ingratiate himself with a female, and is she just a ‘taker’ or is she building herself up ready to lay eggs?

While this was going on there was a Field Vole scooting about amongst the nettles (hadn’t got to that bit yet), then back through the Heuchera’s, which by the way don’t look anywhere as good as the ones that are on the net, and down into the hole in the (laughingly) lawn which is full of Vole holes and runs, which I kept getting my toes drop into while I was kneeling. Really sweet little creatures, if only they didn’t make so many holes!

Back to the plants. I thought I would take a few photo’s of various Daffodils which are still in flower, some are late flowering as they were dug up when the pond was done and not replanted ‘swiftly’!

Some with a carpet of Violets which spread everywhere here and some amongst the white Dead Nettles that I haven’t got round to yet. I always have a guilt complex about ripping these out as you get mugged by the Bumble Bees who come back to them and then find them gone!

Also while sitting and weeding I was at a level that I could look up and admire the Japanese Acer that is in flower and watch a huge Bumble Bee hanging upside down to get to these minute flowers! This particular Acer started life as a variegated one, but that portion died and this is what I have now, very pretty anyway, but might get too big?

This is a very pretty little double Primula which has spread so much that it needs more room. I also have a lilac double which has been split so many times that I have a long row of it. All from one small original pot full.

And a pathetic small piece of Aubretia which has to live high up out of reach of the Peacocks who will eat it if in the ground. Oh for a sweeping bed of Aubretia in full bloom!

A lovely patch of thistles in a bed I haven’t got to, where do they come from so quickly?

Yesterday was a glorious day, the thermometer showed over 20 degrees, though it is in the sun! Spent the day humping and moving rocks and soil for another project (rather than get on with the weeding) so today my back is complaining. There is only me now to try to keep it all tidy, Son has moved out and OH is at work. I’m retired and can please myself, but OH is still working, quite a disparity in ages means he has a long way to go yet, poor thing and they keep moving the goalposts upwards!
I am the old-fashioned sort that thinks he works for a living all day, so shouldn’t be forced to do yet more work when he comes home! He’s not a gardener, but will help if there is anyway that I can’t manage – and loves pulling up nettles! Says it’s the only thing he can weed that I won’t be hovering and looking over his shoulder. True, as he weeded around the old pond and threw all the Arum lilies up on the bonfire heap, so I had to retrieve them.

So a day indoors today, ironing, which I actually like to do.

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Comments

 

What a lovely blog Honeysuckle! I really enjoyed it a lot. Have to say though there wasn't actually much point in autumn weeding - not here at least. I did it and you would never know - it has to be done all over again. Your robins sound delightful - they didn't mind you spying on their courtship, lol. I've never seen a live vole
(plenty of dead ones though) but have seen the damage to tree bark they do...

Loved the aubretia in the wall planter - not pathetic at all, its beautiful.

Just wondered - can you train peacocks to eat just weeds...

9 Apr, 2019

 

Lovely blog Honeysuckle! I love your flowering Acer. One of the lovely spring features. I’ve been outside all morning myself. I love the way you remain so positive in the face of an arthritic back. But yes, there are some really good aspects to being forced to slow down. Mindfulness is a great practice, and the robins etc. Make it much easier to enjoy. I weeded in the late autumn and it does make a big difference...but the bark mulch makes the biggest difference to the weeds. Where I have mulched there are hardly any spring weeds germinating. But I don’t mulch my golden border and it is needing a good hoe already. I will wait until all the plants are above the ground first though!

9 Apr, 2019

 

Just shows, two comments, one from Stera and one from Karen with opposite ideas on the question of whether to weed and clear in Autumn is worth it!
Thanks Stera for always seeming to read and comment on my blogs, so kindly as well.
The Aubretia is a variegated one and would look lovely as a big clump and better if I remembered to feed and water it more often! Being on a wall the overhang of the eaves doesn't allow it to get it's own water.
The Robins are everywhere, we have lots. OH feeds three different Robins pieces of cake, in their own spots, every evening when he puts Boris to bed. He gives them a whistle and down they come for their cake.

10 Apr, 2019

 

Thanks Karen, another kind person who always seems to read and comment on my blogs.
Sadly my back is unlikely to get better, is not much of a problem really unless I try to spend time bending over. Potting things at an odd angle, forking and digging, all the things that I never thought twice about until the last few years! Moved here to where I could create the garden I wanted and BANG! bad back and was told it was Arthritis - Yuk. I can still touch my toes, which seems weird when it hurts to bend slightly!
Still, I was reading an article recently which said we are all too far away from nature, we need to be in contact with the soil to pick up the magnetic fields or something and for our well-being. Now I might not fully agree with that, or encourage everyone to plod about the Farmers field without shoes to get back to nature, but there's no denying that I am in contact with the soil when I am sitting weeding. I hasten to add that it's only my hands and arms that are in contact, I would hate to give a vision of me with a bare bottom getting my contact with the soil!! Ghastly thought.
I like mindfulness, I think it is something everyone should practice when they can, even someone away from the wilds of nature can look at and admire the wonders of a leaf or a spider's web and calm the mind from the hectic modern life.

10 Apr, 2019

 

Lovely blog Honeysuckle I enjoyed it with Robins and voles and bee. Your Daffodils are lovely you have a lovely variety there I too likee your Acer and Aubretia looks great. They say weed in autumn and spring and through summer you won't need to weed but all the men on the allotments years ago hoed the heads off while the sun was on them they told me the sun then will kill the roots remaining.

10 Apr, 2019

 

Thanks Thrupenny. Mr Father had a smallholding, not big enough to make a living from, but big enough to keep pigs, chickens and grow veg. to sell. We always hoed in the sunshine and left the weeds where they were to wilt and die. Carrot bed weeding was my pet hate - or leeks!

10 Apr, 2019

 

How lovely yes carrots are fiddley to hoe around the leeks were nt to bad as I use to plant them further apart. At least you knew what you were eating.

On Country file last week when asked how to prevent disease in rare breed pigs the two sisters who was breeding them replied not to give them any kitchen scraps grown in Africa so now I am wondering what we are being palmed off with in eating food from Africa if its not be given to pigs. . I do try to buy uk organic my self but its hard to find in food varieties.

11 Apr, 2019

 

I agree Thrupenny, it's frightening to think just what we do get poked into our food. I know all the sprays etc., that get willy-nilly sprayed and fed to our food crops have a purpose to produce the maximum yield, but do they really know the long term effect that it could have on human health? And for goodness sake don't get me started on what it does to the insect population and up the food chain to birds!
One article here https://theecologist.org/2014/jan/30/revealed-chemical-blitz-pesticides-our-fields
But there are hundreds of others.
Makes you wonder whether the rise in dementia is really as they tell us 'just because the population lives longer' or whether it has a nastier reason!

11 Apr, 2019

 

Well your daffs didn't suffer with being moved did they, how lovely to have that many robins, we did have two pairs but the stronger male soon decided the garden was his, made the other one move house over the fence into my neighbours garden, they are so crafty aren't they, watch us working a bit of earth and they are there within minutes, I'm like you and do get sidetracked watching them and the blackbirds soon come to join me, it can take ours when that happens but its part of the enjoyment isn't it..I have too say I didn't really have many weeds invading my beds and borders, I think it helped keep them at bay because I mulched with my compost last summer during that very long dry spell, I never buy any of the bark mulch Honey, I don't like to see it, each to his own though, I prefer garden soil, lol.
Would you believe I've actually watered today with my hosepipe, needed to top up our pond and fill up my waterbutts behind the g'houses, the ground is so dry and we've only had one good day of rain in the last month, that was over a week ago, my primroses were all laying down and I'd planted some new purchases and moved a couple of other shrubs yesterday, my shoulders do not take kindly to lugging heavy watering cans about these days, so I thought why not... Another enjoyable blog Honey..

11 Apr, 2019

 

You are right Lincslass the Daffs seem resilient little beasts, I have planted bulbs that laid in a bucket until they were all entangled with growth and roots and still they came up and flowered!
My garden is really dry too, I have some wood chippings mulch over and around the shrubs one side of the garden and that killed off all the grass and has kept it moist underneath. I have two huge compost heaps, good stuff but you do have to heave it about. Mine looks lovely when it's put on the beds, all fresh and dark, then because it just a heap made compost it doesn't get hot enough to kill off weed seedlings, so you get a lovely flush of new seedlings. Or the Blackbird decides to turn it all over and cover the plants up. Then of course there are the big blue birds who love to sit in a newly weeded patch of ground, which would be OK if those huge feet didn't shuffle about and dig everything up. Mind you looking out the window and seeing the beautiful blue of the Peacock sitting under the Spring green of the Acer is almost worth it!
I have some primroses sitting in pots waiting to go in and they also wilted today, so made a point of going round all the loads of plants waiting for a home to make sure they had some water. Spent an hour or so potting up what I decided were self-seeded Petunias out of a large pot, I am going to look a complete idiot if I discover they are weeds!

11 Apr, 2019

 

Thank you for your like Honeysuckle.

It's not just animals and insects it affects. I recall in the 70s cars would be covered with insects when driving down the motorways even wipes were invented and sold to clean the car windows for this now you never see any insect splatter on cars.

Honeysuckle this is still going on links below . It was fired in from ships dropped by aeroplanes in the north also Scotland in the South, East and West on us and dragged and released by vehicles dragging it around the streets in the Midlands also they still release it and on railway stations I heard this a few years ago from radio on a phone in a man stating his friend worked for Porto down and they were releasing germ warfare on the underground stations . When some one asked if this was still going on a request to the freedom of information act they replied they were not willing to discuss their future trials.

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news-comment/843-how-millions-in-the-uk-have-been-exposed-to-germ-warfare-by-our-own-government.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/politics/2002/apr/21/uk.medicalscience

There are a few things that can cause dimentia or Ahlzimers Cooking in silver foil or Alliluminium deodorants containing aluminium not having more than 7 hours sleep or not having rythmtic sleep most anti depressants have proven to cause this too and as you say banned insecticides which America use but in the EU they are banned. Floride in our drinking water then in toothpaste which is poison take to much it will kill its recently killed a little Indian girl swollowing her tooth paste as they can not judge how much we drink of it to which we can overdose. In Europe its banned in their water and refuse to taken any of our foods drinks containing added Floride. Colgate tooth paste up until recently contain Agent Orange which was altering people's genes another germ warfare used in Vietnam and in wwii in France this was in Colgate tooth paste you don't need to swallow Floride to do damage your taste buds absorb more than swallowing.

11 Apr, 2019

 

That's all a bit frightening Thrupenny, not that I am surprised. I remember back in the 70's my neighbour worked on a farm and was spraying something. He went down with an illness, his wife told me he was completely orange and he sweated it out into the bed clothes which she had to throw out. No work compensation in those days and he died relatively young (compared to me now) so was this connected?
So many things that are not natural have been introduced into our lives and no-one knows what the long term effects are. chemicals in everything from deodorants, soaps, perfumes, aerosols and all the things that I try to avoid.
I just don't remember that there were so many people with dementia, psychological problems and such like years ago. Perhaps it's just because it's talked about more - or not.

12 Apr, 2019

 

Yes with our own government's biological dropping germ warefare on us and these chemilcle companies and pharmacy's what chance have we got. You can turn orange through carotene which is in carrots . Agent orange distroys all vegitation which was use against the Vietnamese.

Yes a man up my lane said a few weeks back he finds it funny since they stopped mentioning mad cows disease at the same time Alhzimers came about so is Alhzimers really mad cows disease he said.

No I don't recall any body years ago suffering with senial dementia one of my nans lived untill 94 had her wits about her then my other nan only started to go a bit but that was the water going to the brain. Its these and oaps that are living longer but more people dying younger now than ever before especially the poor I was told this by a man who runs a history and news site. As of so many with psychological problems I am convinced that some is through drugs weather it be illegal drugs or prescription plus governments being a nanny state making people weak minded to mould us for them to carry out their plan little by little so you don't notice what they are doing this has been done for years slowly. I don't envy the lives of our youngsters future either knowing what I do.

The best soap you can use which is organic is Knights Castile which I use you can get it from the Pound Stretcher. Other soaps and tooth paste contain an ingredient which aggrevates and no good for your skin its good for teeth and making lather but not for gums or the skin a chemist told me. My daughter buys a herb toothpaste contains no floride either just a bit more expensive but worth it she says her daughter use it too. I don't need any as I have no teeth lol. All anti bacterial and the anti bacterial soap is a killer it prevents your immune system being attacked so weakens the immune system that was stated by a senior professor at London King's college hospital he said what happened to the old washing up liquid and bleach to clean with and all surfaces in hospitals should be stainless steel it dies pick up germs.

12 Apr, 2019

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