Sunday, March 16, 2008

Focus on the garden

The weekend weather, for the last couple of weekends, has been lousy, but then I guess we were spoiled by a glorious February. Rather than get out and about we've had to make best use of the gaps in the rain and strong winds to prepare the garden for Spring. We've mulched the hedgerow and hope for a second year of strong growth. We've weeded, fed using 2-year old leaf mould, and mulched the fruit trees and have nearly completed digging out a border along the Eastern fence in the garden, for growing sunflowers and sweetcorn. The blackthorn in the hedge is in flower for the first time:

Over winter, with the regular supply of food, we have some new residents in the garden. We don't know what's in the hedgehog house but something walked some mud in there... The rabbits have dug a new home, with the entrance on the outside of the garden fence but the warren is underneath the garden, and we have a colony of brown rats. The latter is a potentially worrying development but we have a Tawny Owl box up and our fingers crossed that it'll all balance out. The rabbits don't look happy either as they've been prospecting for a new home further away from the rats, no doubt so their young aren't predated.

This we presume is the myxomatosis survivor taking time out to relax on the lawn:

His face is very lumpy and scarred.

As Spring approaches there's almost no food left in the wild so the number of birds feeding and the volume of food being consumed is at its peak. We now have two Sparrowhawks hunting in the garden from time-to-time, the female pheasant still pops in, up to 20 Siskin, including this one fluffed up against the wind:

As you can see here, the Buddlea is a very busy 'garden gateway', which the birds use to stop at prior to feeding:

With the changing weather we've had some dramatic skyscapes recently, this a sunset from the back of the house:

And this the same aspect, with the sun breaking from clouds. I love the light in these two photographs.

The lack of opportunity to get out and about has been driving me a bit stir crazy but then we have a holiday coming soon, coastal walking and birding, hopefully catching some migrants en route, we can't wait :)

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