Derek – Friday 15th April 2022

Both cherry trees are in bloom, the large pink blossoms merging with the white of the smaller tree. Theirs will be a brief show, but let’s enjoy them on these sunny Easter days.

More than half of the new fence has been put in. At the front, there’s a new gate, with the fence stretching along Earlham to the corner of Sprowston. There’s still a bit of board at the corner and then new fencing takes over, almost to the side gate. The remnant will be completed after Easter.

Already we are much more visible, with people along the street looking in, some saying hello. Will it bring us more visitors? Will increased visibility make us more vulnerable, say to night intruders and vandals? For better or worse, over the coming months, we shall find out what difference railings replacing a high wooden fence makes.

Yesterday, some of us came in to make the garden safe for the weekend. All the ‘found objects’ hanging off the old fence had to be got out of the way, nailed timbers de-nailed and found a temporary home, some going on top of the container, and large boards in our timber stack at the side of the container. Bits and pieces have been cordoned off. We will straighten out in the next week or so. Some we have no place for will be taken away by the fence contractors, some we will re-use, and some will go in a skip.

The buddleia is growing quickly these warm days. Nothing stops it. Having arrived here in the 1890s and escaped from gardens, it will find a way. Come Doomsday, there will be the cockroaches and buddleia marching on.

The pond is utterly full of tadpoles. In places, there’s a black throbbing mass of them. All the jelly has been consumed. They are now eating algae. Tadpoles are, in effect, embryos, our pond their womb. They have gills, a gut, a heart and blood system, and little else beyond mouth and tail. In the next few months, they will develop a skeleton, lungs, sex organs and limbs. Plant eaters now, those that survive will become carnivorous by the time they are froglets and ready to leave the pond in June. The culling will be immense, from predators and disease. In evolutionary terms, the frog has a numbers strategy. Simply to have so many offspring that a fraction are bound to survive. To me it seems wasteful, even cruel. I watch though in fascination.

Marigolds are flowering. Keep deadheading them and these orange blooms can go on all year. The sycamore is coming into leaf, its flowers like green dangling earrings. In the autumn, they will give us a host of annoying helicopters. The walnut is coming into leaf. We had a single walnut last year, might we do better this year?

Here and there is wild garlic, the one that I think of as a white bluebell. This is Allium triquetrum, so named because of the triangular cross-section of the stem. My brother hates them and roots them out like vermin. I like them. A weed is a plant you don’t like.

Our wildflower bed has been stripped of its plastic grass, dug over, and will be seeded at our Spring Celebration on Saturday 23rd. The wildflower bed will become the garden focus in June and July. I await its season with impatience, not a good quality in a gardener.

At home, for the herb and spice project, I have been trying to grow ginger from ginger root that I bought from the greengrocer on Woodgrange. I have one piece over water, like an avocado stone, and another in a pot. Neither are growing, so I call in a reserve and hope she has better luck.

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