Since it had been too cold to move the hens down to their 'summer residence' at the bottom of the garden, I took advantange of
The Man That Can the weather and he built me a little patio down here for the little seating area I use when I spend time chatting with the hens. This was all from reclaimed paving stones that had once created an odd paved area at the top of the garden.
Unfortunately over the winter, the local cats had used our lovely barked area down here as a personal loo, so things had to change - eew.
As you can see things are catching up, but for some reason, the hardy fuschia's are a little slow to get going this year. End of May and this one is barely a clump of leaves at the bottom of the old twiggy stems. It should make up for it at year's end though.
This is the sea holly making it's appearance in the front garden. I'm always pleasantly surprised to see it emerge.
With all the loss of habitat over the past couple of years - the local council decided to rip up trees that had become unsuitable (although they had replaced with young saplings of suitable trees, but not yet established enough to house valuable nesting sites) They had also decided to remove decades-old hedging in favour of brick walls and drives for many of the residences, which again destroyed bolt-holes, hiding places and nest sites for our precious birds. The result has been a tremendous drop in visitors to our own bird feeders as nest sites had been searched for elsewhere. Since we saw this mass destruction looming, a couple of years ago we added some bird boxes around the garden.
Until this year none had been used. How thrilled we are now to announce the arrival of a family of house sparrows in one nesting box fixed high above the garden at the eves of our own home. You may just be able to make out one of the parents visiting their tiny (but very noisy) chicks, with a beakful of vital insects. If this family are successful in raising their young this year in their new home, they should return again and again each year. And since these birds tend to live in a 'terrace' alongside one another, I might be able to persuade The Man That Can to add another box along the other side of the window.
Back to some pretty flowers around the garden in May
This ceanothus shot was taken just as the flowers were fading. They had been a more vivd blue. This plant was bought from one of those special offers in the gardening magazines in 2009 following the devastating loss of a beautiful deep blue variety we inherited with the garden. I overwintered it and planted it out in the spring of 2012. It's certainly found its feet this year! I may well have to move some of the other shubs it is overcrowding!
Not sure if these are self-sown weeds, but since they have such beautiful flowers they can stay for now.
Peonies and Acer. Great colour combination. The bed at the top of the wall is weed-infested I'm afraid, but time is a premium at the moment and since this bed is hidden away behind the garage, it gets the least attention. Mental note to self - add to list of jobs.
It's taken a while, but I have now found 3 large climbing ivies for the screen project. The other 3 plants are a dark pink hydrangea, a white hardy geranium and a weigela with lovely scented flowers in two-tone pink.
What a shame we haven't got smelly-vision!