Gardenlife

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Ruth had been in the garden cutting back a vine plant all day  She decided to shower as broken bits of twig and leaf had fallen on her and twisted in her hair.

As she started to shampoo her hair she struggled to untangle all the bits of twig. It was getting caught even tighter. She tried some conditioner but the vine was strong and she thought she might have to get some scissors. It was so prickly, bits were scratching her hands and scalp. It felt as though it was pressing on her hair, her nose? Infiltrating her ears. She knew then that it was growing! The water and the conditioner was feeding it. No matter how she struggled the vine grew and tangled around her. It slipped into her mouth as she tried to cry out.

Later a neighbour, who had noticed water running out of the house, called the police. They eventually broke in.

“No sign of anyone in there.” “We’ve turned off the water,” the policeman said. ” Funny thing, there’s a huge vine growing in the bath. They must have left it there so it had water” …..”very strange shape, you could almost imagine it had arms and legs” ..

Shed arrival

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This morning a shed and summerhouse we ordered arrived. I got them because they were ex display models so they cost half the price they should have. DSC_1291_optimized

I’m not sure why I wanted a summer house as well. I have this idea that I’m going to sit out in the garden in the summer and use it to paint in.

The builder is putting them up at the moment. We have also had some fencing put up because the back of the garden was getting so overgrown it had pulled the bit of fencing down that had been there for years. We intend to plant clematis and honeysuckle against it.

That’s about all I’m going to say about it. It’s a big cost. But if it means we can store and save all my husbands collection of old bicycles and stop them from rusting it’s a good idea.

Tree time

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This tree is going to have to come out. This was taken a couple of years ago. Since then we have had a lot of the branches cut back. Basically because it is too near the house and we are concerned the roots may affect the walls!

So we have spoken to the local wood turning group and they are happy to take the logs to turn into artistic objects.

I have already see birds carrying twigs around the garden so it needs doing soon.

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Having work done.

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For a long time the back of our garden has been very overgrown. We made the mistake of putting in Russian vine, which is a fast growing plant which grows long trailing vines and overtakes everything, which it did! The old broken fence was pulled down by it and we ended up with a 3ft wide by 3ft high pile of vegetation which was a barrier, but was unsightly. My partner also started putting plant cuttings on top of it so it got higher and messier.

So a decision had to be made. Our garden is full of wildlife but we need a fence and we are having a couple of sheds put in to store the feral bicycles that we have dotted around the garden. My partner has a love of bikes and he likes to Potter around on them choosing a bike depending on how he’s feeling. They need looking after.

I’m also having a summer house put in so I can paint in there in the summer, or just sit and read a book.

Luckily we got a deal on the sheds as they are ex display and we are having the fence builder put them up to save on the cost of putting them up by the people who are delivering them.

Anyway there are gale force winds and rain out there at the moment. Rain has stopped play.

Cat on a chimney

sketch-1551441776284I’ve seen squirrels up there, but never a cat on our neighbours chimney. In fact thinking about it I’m surprised I haven’t seen one before. The back of the building is where an old shed and outhouse used to be. In the way of these things someone had converted the back into a bathroom but had pretty much left the roof and chimney in situ. The only change being that they have capped the chimney with  a large slab of concrete. I guess this is a pretty good vantage point for cats. There is increased activity from the birds so they are prowling around looking to chase things.

This is not one of my cats which both live entirely indoors. But our garden does attract a lot of the neighbours cats  Luckily there is no sign of feathers to indicate birds have been taken, but it is a worry. I also saw another cat high up in our privet hedge this morning. It was very wobbly. Any bird would have flown before it could be attacked. _20190301_115628

This, believe it or not is a blue tit in the garden. It was too far away to get much detail. It’s waiting to fly to one of our numerous bird feeders.

Bluebells in February?

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These plants are growing outside in a box and my husband bought them in to show me as my cold is no better and I haven’t been outside because I feel too poorly.

What are they? They look like bluebells but they are not curved over like British ones. They might be Spanish bluebells which grow upright, with thicker stems. But bluebells don’t normally flower till April or May? Also the flowers are sticking out sideways. I guess they are actually a form of hyacinth? They don’t have many bells on them but they do smell like hyacinths. On the other hand they are not like the ones we had on the windowsill and are nothing like grape hyacinths that we sometimes grow in the spring.

So my question is to any gardeners out there…. What are they?

Looking out

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When a cat wants to look out of the window they don’t care what’s in the way. A few days ago I found one of my cats with their back half on the box of bird food and their front paws on the window ledge. The bird activity at the moment is quite busy because of the warm weather we have been having. It was 18 degrees Celsius yesterday in this area and has been 19 degrees in the Midlands today. The highest temperature in the country today was 20 degrees the hottest since records began for a February day. The normal temperature is about 5 to 8 degrees at this time of year. Last year when the beast from the east was here we were getting lows of minus 5 degrees.

Part of the reason for all this is the fact that Britain is in a temperate area. We have winds that arrive from all directions, and depending on the direction we get lots of varied weather. At the moment we have had a high pressure area situated over us so we are in a quite stable situation. There is a big dip in the jet stream so warm air is being pulled up from the south. We are actually in warmer air than in Greece at the moment. The pressure is due to reduce and we are expecting cooler air and some rain later in the week.

Anyway I was talking about birds but got distracted.  My husband bought a woven birds nest yesterday that wrens can nest in. We are expecting blue tits to nest in the garden this year and we also get blackbirds that nest in the hedge and the ivy on the house. The only problem is this warmth is bringing insects out but their food plants are not flowering yet. We need it to be cooler for at least another month .

The cats enjoy watching the birds, chattering at pigeons and sparrows. I’m glad we don’t let them out in the garden. But we have many cats that visit so we try and keep the vegitation cut enough but leave some cover for birds to hide in.

Anyway I’m feeling pretty bad at the moment with tonsillitis so I think I will just leave this ramble here.

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