An early morning rain brings life to the garden and it has been very dry lately. We heard the frogs two nights ago, canoodling in next door’s goldfish pond so the weather has warmed up enough for them to start moving back to the ponds and waterways they were born in. I love their soft voices, these frogs are only small and you have to strain a little to hear their low croaks. We had some in the long grass one year* and occasionally I startle one clearing away rotting leaves away from new shoots. We leave quite a lot of the leaves and debris lying around during the winter in the beds and round the shrubs to provide a little shelter for them but at some point we have to start clearing it so that we can weed, take out plants that haven’t made it through the winter, and so on.
The family apple tree is festooned with dangling drops and the newly emerging bulbs and shrubs are cupping small spheres. Once I look at the photos on the computer I see detail that I couldn’t see when I was taking the photos, even tinier droplets tangent to bigger curves; it’s strange to think a little machine can record in binary code what I can’t really see with my own eyes. If I think about it too hard I disappear.
If the sun is shining as here, the garden glistens and shimmers with fragile light till the wind or a visiting jackdaw flips the raindrops away, and the show is over once more.
This is our composter, it takes all our fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, egg shells and most things that will decompose without attracting too many rats. Brown paper waste too goes in there and a small quantity of shredded paper. We are not experts but we are rewarded a few times a year with a quantity of reasonable compost that we can dig back into the garden.
Here is the top chamber of this three part com poster, called an Earthmaker.
One of the oldest plants in this youngish garden (we have planted everything in it) is the fatsia japonica that lived in a pot in the back yard of my old house. It flowers late in the year and then fruits and seeds around now. I am very fond of it though it is huge compared to when I first bought it.
Another plant that arrived here was a house warming gift from Hellie and Pete, again it sat sulking in a pot for a few years as we didn’t know what to do with it as camellias (not azalea! oops apparently they flower later) like acid soil and our soil definitely wasn’t that. However we dug out one of our tiny beds and filled it with ericaceous compost and we only water it with rain water and both the blueberry bush and this red flowered camellia have done well in it so far. This year we have more buds than ever before!
The self sown leeks are the only vegetables in the raised bed surviving till now, plus a couple of little pots of parsley. The wood pigeons have chewed the remains of the chard into a mess and the perpetual spinach dissolved into a gooey morass after a week of frosts. Celia will be pleased to know that there are fennel seedlings everywhere though – brave little things!
Here is a seemingly gratuitous photo of a slice of light caraway rye, included because I made it with the handful of caraway seeds that I collected from the caraway plants that I tried growing a while ago. They weren’t too keen on our weather, so I won’t grow them again but it was fun to try.
There are seedlings growing indoors and I hope in the cold frame too… time will tell.
P.S. Here is our best froggie picture from a few years back