Breakfast please – it’s been a cold night

Blackbird-food

First very cold night of the winter and this morning five blackbirds have been squabbling over the limited food resources round the garden. One of the birds came up close to the window and just perched on a pot staring out across the frozen pond.

Bird-frozen-pond

Blackbirds will feed from a high bird table, but they prefer pecking around at ground level. This morning I mixed up some uncooked oats with a little lard and chucked in a few raisins and left the mixture on the patio. One male bird attempted to claim the lot, but whilst he chased off one competitor another would dart in and sneak off with a beak full.

Blackbird-waiting

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Eight years on.

Reflecting 8 yrs

A moment of reflection this morning and I realised that my back garden has been evolving further and further away from its original plan, but I decided it doesn’t really matter. As with all life, nothing is set in stone and gardening is all about continual adaptation. But here’s a before and after.

garden waiting
The day the removal men dumped all my pots and stuff in the tired, old garden.
back garden planting
Eight years on – my garden this morning.

Over 50 years ago somebody planted this magnolia soulangeana in what is now my father’s garden. It was planted in a sunny but exposed position and the soil is too thin. Amazingly it puts on a brief, over-the-top show once a year. It is not a popular choice these days, not least as it is difficult to place in a more naturalistic planting scheme especially where space is restricted. However, who would be mean enough to cut down a small tree that flowers its heart out every spring?

Magnolia soulangeana
Magnolia soulangeana