Derek – Friday 27th March 2020

I will blog once a week, so long as it is allowed in the current crisis. My visits to the garden are my outdoor exercise for the day. I do some planting, watering and general garden maintenance. While I am there, only Kevin is present, and we take care to keep our distance from one another.

On Wednesday, Kevin did a video walk round the garden with his iPhone. I did the commentary. We picked ten places where he would stop and I would say what was there. We rehearsed, but didn’t write a script. And it’s more or less OK. We will do a video every two weeks, so you can see how the garden is growing through spring and summer, as who knows how long the emergency will last?

Here’s the link for the virtual walk:

While Kevin and I were making the video, the yew on the Gateway site was being sawed down. You can hear the scream of the chainsaw in the soundtrack. They picked an opportune time, with hardly anyone about. So there was minimal fuss, with everyone wrapped up in shopping and staying safe. The tree had thrived for 130 years but it took less than an hour to take down. A sad discrepancy, illustrating how much easier it is to destroy than to create.

The daffodils are coming to their end, and birds are checking out our nesting boxes. It is that time. I cleaned all the boxes in the autumn, so let’s see how many residents we get. The nest under the sycamore has had blue tits for two years running. Will they return?

After the wettest February on record, from mid March onwards, it has been dry. And we are watering again. A prolonged drought would be very hard to deal with in the current crisis, as who will bring us water?

There are two lots of frog spawn in the pond, a large one with the brood close to hatching and a smaller one which is about a week behind. We’ll have lots of tadpoles by early April. And if this year is like last year, suddenly they’ll all be gone. Leaving one wondering, where such a crowd have gone so quickly. But there aren’t many options. The real query is who has been eating them.

Kevin and I sowed the seeds in the wildflower bed. We are unsure what will come up. The packets were labelled ‘wild flower seeds’ with a few saying such things as good for birds or for butterflies, but not giving flower names. So I will be intrigued what grows. I imagine poppies, cornflowers, campion, wild carrot, vetch, herb robert and beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

We began with a bed that had been cleared of weeds, which is rather curious as we are simply replacing them with other weeds, politely called wild flowers. We raked the ground flat, then scratched some shallow furrows. We mixed the seeds with compost before sowing, just to make them easier to sow, and we went along the rows dropping seeds. We then closed the furrows with our boots, and watered them in. Lastly, we covered the area with scrap carpet. That will hold in the water and keep the birds off them. In three weeks, we will take it off as the emerging seedlings will need light to grow.

Comments 2

  1. Well, the risk of an an ad hoc commentary on the video walk (link in the blog). Not totally ad hoc, as I rehearsed it a couple of time, but there’s one glaring error. Glares at me anyway. I said the big cherry tree would flower in two months. That is way out. What was I thinking? Or not thinking. It will flower in two to three weeks, depending on the weather, the warmer the sooner.

  2. Hello Derek.
    Great to hear you are caring for that Magical garden.
    This madness will be over soon.
    My garden is magical with for-get- me-nots. Daisies and wild flowers. It’s like a blue haze. Nothing that I have done. Nature is wonderful

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