Back to the Garden – Mid August

This robin has worked really hard all summer and apparently it’s quite normal to look like this during the moulting season.

The bird has probably been involved in some territorial fighting; it’s very common for robins to pull out each others’  head feathers; these should regrow once the moult is complete. She is friendly and inquisitive (the bird watcher’s term for this is ‘confiding’)  and is a great observer of humankind, knowing when the feeders are being filled up and will come to Brian’s hand for scraps.

On one of our recent hot days I was trying to wash something down outside and she flew over and dashed through the spray from the hose. I stopped what I was doing and gazed after her.

She sat in this tree and dipped and bobbed her head at me.

I thought for a moment, then I pressed the trigger of the hose again and arced the water in a fine mist as before; she flew straight back through the spray. She did this several times before flying off to sit in the ivy.

One of my precious Brown Turkey figs

The ornamental vine produces some surprisingly realistic grapes!

The Family Apple tree (three grafts one root stock) is bowed down to the ground with fruit

Maureen’s cucumber plant gift

First crop of pears in five years – not ripe yet

The raised bed looks a little wild and unruly now

It’s a jungle down under the apple tree, a long forgotten perennial sweet pea has appeared

I let the artichoke flower this year, it’s the only one left, the others didn’t make it through the winter

The weather changes yet again….

16 thoughts on “Back to the Garden – Mid August

  1. heidiannie

    Your garden is beautiful- truly beautiful. I am delighted by the lovely form of your fig, and you played with a robin in your garden. You have a touch of magic about you.

  2. cityhippyfarmgirl

    What a bountiful garden! If that was mine, I would be sitting back and breathing it all every day.
    My grandmother used to have a wind up bird that she would put on the breakfast table after we had eaten to ‘peck’ all the left over crumbs. I thought this was fantastic and would look forward to this every time I stayed. Why am I telling you this?…Because your bald robin looks just like the wind up- baldy and all, as it was very old.

  3. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    @ Suelle – the local foxes keep trying to convince me to leave food out for them, but I don’t because of the dogs – RSPB advise feeding birds in gardens all year round now so we do. The blackbirds are feeding a second brood as they dash back and forward all day.

    @ Celia – Five years ago it looked like this: How it was when we moved in Your garden will grow faster than you imagine and then you will wonder where all the space has gone :)

    @ Heidiannie – You say the nicest things (blushes) :)

    @ Brydie – I have a box of wind up toys in the attic but none that picked up crumbs – wow! Before I had a garden I hung the goose in the window of the flat (apartment) I lived in and took its picture, I’ll see if I can find it and scan it in… Do you still have your grandmother’s?

  4. Tutak

    I too have a robin who lives in hope of human kindness. Unfortunately, the feeders had to come down as one of my insane neighbours feeds the disgusting pigeons by throwing bread on the lawn, and we’re trying to persuade him not to, so have to set a good example. And I am so very jealous of the rich fruity goodness in your garden and have concluded that I have black fingers. I have eaten the one gooseberry my bush produced, ripped up one of the blackberry plants and am contemplating removing the other one – why, because the berries went from being green to being squishy rotten overnight, and the stupid lime tree casts a shadow and also evil black sap all over the raised bed. There seems to be no point growing anything edible in the lime’s vicinity…..might start again next year, with fruit and veg in the front where the sun shines, if I can persuade the locals not to flytip….xx

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Dearest, we were going to give you the pigeon excluding bird feeder house thingy weren’t we? They might just sit on it though… Tom Lehrer where are you when we need you? I haven’t mentioned the deaths in the garden. The first plum tree that went in didn’t even make it through the first winter, the Meeches Prolific quince got some terrible disease and after three years was sent to the happy orchard in the Beyond. Photos deceive – you can’t see the ragged holes in the lawn – it’s all edited highlights, but you know that ;)

  5. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    Also thinking maybe you could do an espalier on one of your walls… Vertical gardening. It always looks so easy in the architectural magazines… was reading about someone who specialised in teaching you how to do espalier fruits….

  6. Robin

    Had our first fig of the season this morning before work – like nothing you can buy… (as long as you can pounce in the short space of time between ripeness and them being eaten by the birds).

    What happened to your quince? They are usually pretty disease resistant apart from a bit of Leaf Blight.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Vicious nasty blight thing I think Robin, ate all the leaves, and the fruit went funny too, I took all the leaves off endlessly, picked up all the fallen ones, and each year for three years my poor quince got sadder and sadder… it would blossom hopefully and then all would seem well and then the leaves would be consumed. I’m not a very knowledgeable gardener, I showed it to lots of people and no one suggested anything helpful apart from take off leaves, and burn etc.

      I agree the figs are heavenly though ! I just don’t have enough :)

  7. Christine

    Oh, little robin looks so lovely, even if she is moulting! What a funny thing to fly through the spray. Glorious pictures. Are you planning on doing anything with the apples? :)

  8. Choclette

    Gorgeous pictures Joanna and so much abundance. Why hasn’t your pear flowered for five years? And which three apple varieties do you have on your one tree? That’s a lovely robin story – robins do make gardening even more interesting.

  9. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    @ Christine – apple crumble, apple pie, french apple tart, rye and apple cake, freeze some, now I have learnt the Vit C trick from Celia! Robin was taking a shower, she’s a modern bird, scorns the bath, says showers are more ecological :)

    @ Choclette – honestly, I don’t know. The pear was very small – a cordon – when it went in and had one pear its first summer, then nothing, I think maybe…the long cold winter, delayed blossom and better fruit, I’ve asked other people who have pear trees and they all say they have loads this year. The apple varieties, are Egremont Russet, one of my favourite apples plus Fiesta (red Pippin cox style apple) and Sunset (a dessert apple); the Fiesta seems to be very dominant.

  10. robinaccio

    All this talk of showers, baths, molting etc…I’d just like to make clear that the robin referred to is not me, we are not related (AFAIK) and have never even met. Also it is not my molting season.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I did consider making a reference to Robin Gibb who came up when I googled bald robin, but you were mentioned nowhere in that context my baking friend ! :)

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