Flowering for fifteen years


Birdsong for the first time since I can’t remember.  Sparrows squabbled in their roost, falling silent at some signal and beginning again, louder; a few depressed-looking starlings perched up against a cold sky; a blackbird uttered a few sweet phrases from somewhere; a robin swooped twittering across the grass, with another in pursuit.

1 birds

I plotched round the ravaged garden, contemplating the unpruned shrubs, lank grass, sodden shed, neglected vegetable patch.  The birch tree developed a huge rotten cavity during the autumn, and to make it safe for the gales it had to be brutally truncated.  Drainage channels were drilled into the hole, but I think it is still getting bigger.

2 birch

The early daffs are trying, but usually get beaten down before they flower.  The stems are too tall for this time of year.

3 buds

The rhubarb is convinced that spring is coming, and a few leeks and a solitary kale plant are still standing.

4 rhubarb

At least the lichen is happy.  It’s always worth taking a photo to see the tiny cups and fronds which are difficult to pick out with naked eye.

6 lichen

The grevillea has been in this pot for twelve of its sixteen years.  It went in as a few sticks and is now as tall as I am.   I’m afraid to repot in case the shock kills it outright.

7 grevillea

It has been flowering for fifteen years.  Continuously.  Summer and winter.  Sometimes it looks hearty and active, sometimes yellow and malnourished, sometimes pinched with cold, but always a few buds and flowers can be found along its sparse branches.

8 grevillea flower

3 responses »

    • Of course we are one of the milder bits of Britain – but I think the garden is a bit confused anyway, because we didn’t really get a summer last year. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much for this year.

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