Time flies, they say, especially when you’re having fun. I’d say it flies even more quickly when you’re dealing with other people’s issues. Hence my absence for a couple of weeks. The drawbridge is now up and the vats of boiling oil are prepared. Other people are being ignored. Though they are complaining and I’m debating sending them all to Devon where a certain redoubtable lady will, I’m sure, give them a piece of her mind and then send them off in the wrong direction to be lost forever. And the blogoshpere is another place where people can get lost. Your successful navigation through the maze of Sixes on Saturday will be far more sure if you make the propagating bench your starting point.
Meanwhile here’s my contribution to the maze.
1 A Duet of Hydrangeas
I suppose I could have had two soloists but I thought that would be pushing things a bit as they’re very similar. The main difference is in the foliage, see?
Somewhere I have a blue hydrangea. Well it’s really a hydrangea that flowers blue cos the ground is right. But that one has been declining over recent years and I think it’s decided that enough’s enough and hasn’t bothered to put in an appearance this year.
2 A Quartet of Daylilies
It’s Hemerocallis season! My collection is now mature enough that they all produce decent quantities of flowers. A juvenile with maybe just one flower seems a bit of a waste of space, given that the flower only lasts a day. But patience and perseverance will be rewarded. I’m giving you four this week. Click ’em to make ’em grow. I may give you another collection next week.
3 Pigeon Ramier Soliste
Some of the regular garden visitors here get names. This may because they have a certain appearance or a certain behaviour that makes them stand out from the crowd. Thus, for example, the four squirrels all have names (and Harry is the worst of the bunch, always digging up my lawn when he’s not wrecking bird feeders). Woodstock is, as you might guess, a wood pigeon (or is it woodpigeon?) and usually joins the gaggle of ground-feeders for whom there’s usually a liberal sprinkling of sunflower hearts in a corner of the lawn. But usually isn’t always. Woodstock ain’t daft and, whereas the other perambulators will simply strut around expressing their displeasure at the table service, he has found a way to get to the hanging feeders. Maybe he’s been studying Harry?
The garden’s namesake fuchsia has decided to join this week’s performance, but only just. Normally a bush a couple of feed high and a foot or so across, it’s effort this year has been confined to one six-inch upright and a couple of pairs of little socks. Maybe a replacement next year?
Down in the orchestra pit, the ensemble of zantedeschia is tuning up. I’ve got six, spread across two containers. The strings and brass ain’t with us yet but the woodwind are ready.
6 The Percussion
In the 30 years I’ve lived here I can happily say I’ve never had any killer bird strikes, despite something approaching a third of the house’s garden-facing wall surface being glass. This has suddenly changed and I had three fatalities in four days. And these weren’t small birds; they were all collared doves (which is a rather nice name for what are pigeons). I discovered the first when investigating a very loud bang and wondering which ceiling had fallen down. You may be able to see the ghostly image of the departed on the glass:
I wonder why this is happening all of a sudden. Someone suggested hawks. But I’ve had sparrowhawks visiting almost daily for years; nothing new there. The only difference I can think of is that there’s now no territorial cat lounging in the garden all day. Pillster had got the message that birds weren’t playthings and would quite happily watch them hopping around him and merely flick his tail if any went so far as to hop into him. Other cats, though, were a different matter and would be evicted from the garden as soon as he saw them.
Now the local Cat’s Institute meets daily in the shrubbery and one particularly fat one tries, though always failing as it can’t move fast enough, to catch a snack. I’ve noticed that different ground-feeding birds respond differently. Small ones head for the trees at the side of the garden; wood pigeons, magpies and jays corkscrew upwards. But the collared doves (of which there is a fair number) head straight towards the house. So I’m guessing that, in their panic, they’re either missing the fact that they’re heading for glass or simply probationary pilots who can’t climb quickly enough.
Nowt I can do about their flying skills (well I’m not moving the house!) but I thought I could, perhaps, make the glass a little more visible. So stick-ons. In the day they’re not that intrusive (and difficult to photograph as they just show up as dark shapes) but in the evening they look quite good as they reflect indoor lighting. And since they arrived, no bird strikes despite fat git still trying. When I catch him, he’ll be sorry! I have a recipe for a somewhat itchy and foul tasting paste. No, it wont harm him but a good slap on the bum will warn him that more slaps may follow.
Right, that’s it for this week. I’m going to be doing a bit of tree trimming today. And, of course, I’ll follow all the safety rules.