Wonderful in the Garden

bird2Something wonderful is happening in my garden. Last afternoon, while admiring and experimenting with various sprinklers attached to a lately delivered solar pump for my sink-sized pond, I heard an unusual birdsong, rich and melodious. The bird, mid-brown, was silhouetted on top of my summer house. I was unable to see detail. It flitted in the cherry tree and left. Smaller than a blackbird, bigger than a sparrow. But I had never seen a sparrow in my garden. It returned, was it the same bird? And could it be a dunnock? Neither had I seen a dunnock in the garden.

     Today, I am overjoyed to see two sparrows taking moss from the gardenmay 034 (I have loads) and up to the fir tree to the right of my door. They must be building a nest; goody.

     Now a young, and this is the sweet voice I heard yesterday, thrush, perches right outside the conservatory on the cheap metal archway I put up last summer which bears a red clematis on the right and raspberries on the left. Wonderful, neither have I ever seen a thrush in my garden.

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     Low and behold, a single and magnificent crimson-breasted bull finch on top of the trellis, swoops down and drinks from the bird bath.

lbird     Agapanthus, a mother’s day gift years ago, has grown eleven blue blooms from none, and hosts two many spotted ladybirds which have been there for three days so far and I’ve seen a fat honey bee and a svelte honey bee with pollen-laden legs.bbee

     Creatures I have not yet seen this year are; red and turquoise damsel flies, the huge black and yellow striped dragon fly, the frogs; and I know the family of hedgehogs wandered next door and drowned last year.

     The pair of dunnocks are bold and busy, under the table, top of the trellis pecking and picking, on the fence, eyeing the olive tree (watch out, my neighbour snatches nests before the eggs hatch, she’s a little short of grey cells).

     Earlier, I watched the blackbird on the lawn as he listened for worms, stabbed and gotmay 027 one. Last year a fledgling fell close to the pond, mum and dad never left it for a second, making squawking, encouraging, here-we-are-sounds for two days. I kept the cat indoors. Two blackbirds have always nested in the fir tree. He sat on the roof of my summer house last evening and sang beautifully. His babies, still in their nest, sang back baby songs.

     The dunnock goes where no bird dared to go – to the hanging fairy-on-a-leaf, filled with porridge oats. Their character is quite unique, so too the blackbird, thrush and bullfinch.

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JUNE: Flowers Garden – Wild Flowers, Park

My garden flowers: June 1st.

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Wild Flowers at a Glance’  ; M. C. Carey & D. Fichew; pub. J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd 1954

I find my childhood wild flower book indispensable; it’s neat, precise and fits a pocket.

I have never not found a wild flower described within the pages. It is arranged by flower colour; from white/green/yellow/ blue/mauve/purple/pink/red. 

And such beautiful names, in my next life I shall be called, Leontodon.

 JACK-BY-THE-HEDGEAlliaria petiolata

Plants are often found growing along the margins of hedgerows giving rise to the folk name of Jack-by-the-hedge. Other common names include Garlic Root, Hedge Garlic, Sauce-alone, Jack-in-the-bush, Penny Hedge and Poor Man’s Mustard.

 ROUGH CHERVILChaerophyllum temulumChervil soup is eaten on Holy Thursday as a symbol of resurrection and a new life. Because its scent reminds of the fragrance of myrrh (one of the offerings at the birth of Christ), it is often called myrrhis.beehive

GOOSE GRASS – CLEAVERSGallium Aparine

If Goose grass clings to you, you’ll be kissed.

LAMB’S TONGUE PLANTIANPlantago media

Tradition maintains that English plantain springs up wherever English people set foot, no matter what the climate. The botanical name is derived from the word “planta,” a foot.

COMMON SORRELRumex Acetosa

The tangy flavour of sorrel makes it an ideal addition to salads, soups or omelettes.

MEADOW CROWFOOTRununculus acer

Ranunculus is one of the oldest known drugs. The ancient physicians employed them to destroy indurations, horny and other excrescences. It has been especially recommended in the place of Cantharides as a means of drawing blisters.

DAISYBellis perennis

Sprang as tears from the eyes of Mary Magdalene, the ‘Day’s Eye’

BLUEBELL, WILD HYACINTHEndymion non-scriptus (Scilla non-scripta)

Folk myth has it that bluebells ring to call fairies to meetings. Bluebell woods were thought to be enchanted: if your walked through one you would be spirited away never to be seen again.

COMMON HAWKBITLeontodon autumnalis                           

Make a wish right before blowing on dandelion, your wish just might come true.

GERMANDER SPEEDWELLVeronica Chamaedrys

The image of Jesus’ face said in legend to have appeared on the handkerchief used by Veronica to wipe the face of Jesus.

COMMON CUDWEEDFilago germanica

Listed as THREATENED species in the Red Data Book for England due to agricultural practices.

HAWTHORNCrataegus -Thomas the Rhymer, the famous thirteenth century Scottish mystic and poet, once met the Faery Queen by a hawthorn bush from which a cuckoo was calling. She led him into the Faery Underworld for a brief sojourn, but upon re-emerging into the world of mortals he found he had been absent for seven years.silver 049