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.
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.
The early daffs are trying, but usually get beaten down before they flower. The stems are too tall for this time of year.
The rhubarb is convinced that spring is coming, and a few leeks and a solitary kale plant are still standing.
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.
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.
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.