The weather is still quite mild but I decided that it was a good time to finally move all the less hardy plants from the patio and walls into the greenhouse before they do get caught by a cold stint. Also crammed into the greenhouse were the water plants from the water features that need to avoid being in frozen water. They will now stay here for a few months and I’ll top up the water every now and again, though at this time of year they don’t need much.
With the bad weather that the winter season brings I have more time inside and have completed my first big jigsaw of the season. Given this was a second hand one there was always the possible problem that it may not have all the pieces. The word complete on the box may provide some confidence but I have learnt from experience that could be an old reference and for those who have read earlier posts, I even know that the picture on the front of a second hand jigsaw might not mean anything. It was a relief that this had all the pieces and great satisfaction in being able to put the final piece into place and view the whole thing.
Apologies for the poor quality photo, I had to zoom in on my phone and didn’t have time to get the big camera our that would have provided a better zoom.
Having restocked some of the bird feeders I had guests more or less straight away with a couple of Thrushes stocking up from the fat balls and suet cake. The one of the fat ball is easier to spot, but there is also one hanging onto the right hand side of the suet cake feeder. It just blends into the background too easily, especially when zoomed in. I was reminded to make sure the feeders were stocked up well as it’s not good for the birds to exhert energy getting to the feeders and not having enough there to replenish and stock up for a while, so as a request, if you’re reading this and have bird feeders in the garden, please keep them stocked up for the sake of the birds this winter.
A number of years ago I had a North Face Nuptse jacket that was the warmest jacket I had ever owned. It served me well for a good number of years before it wore out. So effective was it that it even kept me warm in a stationery car with the engine off for over 3 hours while I was stuck in snow and bad weather due to an accident further up the road that needed to be cleared. At no point with it on did I feel cold. Bored and needing the toilet yes, but cold, no. After the extreme cold earlier this year and the possible threat of a repeat, I decided it was time to reinvest.
(In line with current blogging practice, I should point out that I am not being paid or receiving goods in kind by North Face to mention their product or brand).
I moved one of my winter/spring pots out of the garage last week as I had noticed that a bulb has started to poke through. Today it the flower came and it was a snow drop. None of the other bulbs have pushed through yet, so it’s still on it’s own, but sometimes I feel that a single bulb in flower can be just as stunning to look at as a whole bunch. Others will follow I’m sure, but I think that it’s probably fair to say that with the snowdrops now coming, so is winter.
Well winter is coming so it is time to make efforts to look after some of the local wildlife. To that effect I’m keeping the bird feeder and bath topped up. I had noticed a problem with one of the feeding stations and that no matter what, it wasn’t attracting any bird. I think the problem was that on one occasion there was a damp issue with the seeds and that they now avoid it permanently. I’ve therefore purchased a new (not too expensive) bird feeder that should have better drainage and access to the seed. It should also be easier to clean out. It’s meant to look like a lighthouse and I can see that, though obviously not in the colours. I’m hoping that it will be a beacon to any birds that want sustenance over the winter.
While the weather is remaining very dry and warm, I have chosen to try to protect the garden a bit from the extreme weather we had earlier in the year when the temperatures dropped lower than I can remember and I lost a number of plants, even though they had been overwintered in the greenhouse. First on my list is the training geraniums that I have in small wall pots. While it was easy enough to buy some replacements, it would be good if I had some growing ready as replacements if the cold weather comes again. The trailing geraniums aren’t the largest so it’s some quite small cuttings I’ve had to take, but I’m hoping that won’t make too big a difference and that maybe half of them at least will root and be viable replacements if needed next year.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that the unusually cold winter killed off a number of my pot plants. One of them was a fragrant jasmine which had been thriving. Everything down to the base of the plant was dead and I purchased a replacement. However never being one to give up, and knowing that nature will often find a way to restart, I stuck it in a pot, put the pot in a trug and the trug in the greenhouse to provide it with as much of a positive environment as I could. Today while doing a load of gardening and sorting some stuff in the greenhouse, I spotted that nature had found a way to restart and that new shoots had begun to grown. I’ve put it in a better pot and a better watering tray. As you can see it’s a long way off being anything that I’d put on the patio, but at some point in the future, I’ll be able to have two jasmines rather than just the one.