Monday, January 04, 2010

Britain shivers

I'm not going to do any prognostications this year because last year's were scarily accurate and I don't want to play any more.

Far better to live for the day. (The one and only prediction I will make is that someone may need to remind me of this some time this year.)

Given how cold and blowy it's been, the garden is still remarkably green. There aren't actually all that many evergreens out there - the tree heather, a couple of small, shrubby Hebes, a Skimmia a... well, there are quite a few evergreens out there, but most of them are at the bottom end of the garden. Closer to the house, the Cape fuchsias and the Penstemons are still in full leaf, though the last of the flowers were at the beginning of December. The geraniums, sweet williams and lobelias gave up on flowering the week before Christmas.

Half a hundredweight of lard and a few bushels of seeds virtually guarantee me six or seven species of birds at any one time. One of the treats of looking out of the window is the flock of sparrows that are around more often than not. There's never less than a dozen at a time, which comes as a great relief. The starlings, sometimes as many as twenty-three of them, descend on the garden three times a day. You don't have to look out of the window to know they've arrived. I'm of two minds about the arrival of bullfinches. I'm delighted to see them, but I hope they'll leave the fruit trees alone. The long-tailed tits, on the other hand, are an unalloyed delight.

Oh look: there are buds on the Hellebores. A promise of Spring.


Gaw said...

One of my camelia's been in flower for a couple of weeks now. Earlier than usual despite the cold weather. Wonder why?

Scarlet Blue said...

The rooks look happy here. Noisy buggers.

worm said...

Hellebores are definately one of my favourite plants, I love the way they suddenly appear in dark corners

Kevin Musgrove said...

Gaw: my brother's magnolia was flowering at the end of November, too. They'd obviously had a stressful autumn for some reason.

Scarlet: you're in the right area for them! Just wait until they start nesting an mobbing the buzzards on the telegraph poles.

worm: yes, that's one of the joys. I regret that my garden's all one one level, it's wonderful to see inside the flowers without having to bend and tilt them up.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Smashing. I've also got hellebores, but as it's -19 out there at the moment probably even they haven't made a start yet. Still had a few antirrhh... snap-dragons in bloom before the snow covered them.