Spring Garden – Saturday 11th May, 2024

The Green Fair on Bank Holiday Monday was unlucky, having the wettest day for some time. All stalls were supplied with a gazebo, just as well, as it rained on and off all day. At our stall children decorated wooden pendants using stencils, which was very popular. We also had our cycle charges out and we used them for blowing bubbles. With better weather we would have used the electricity created for playing music or computer games, but the weather limited us. Numbers were down, but there were still quite a few who braved the rain.

I was puzzled by all the daffodils in local planters. In May! Until I was told, that they had only been planted in February, as opposed to November. I recall a friend of mine from Saskatchewan, Canada, telling me that they would sometimes plant bulbs as late as April, as before that the ground was frozen. And get flowers as late as June.

The pond is definitely clearing. For over a month, it has been a murky green, created by growth of single celled algae in the water. It seems that was a temporary phenomenon. The growth would have brought about by a flush of nitrates in the water. And my inclination is to think it was from the waste created by all the adult frogs we had in March, possibly as many as forty over the month. The pond is now clearing as the nitrates have been used up. We hope.

The irises are out in the pond, responding to the warmth and sunshine. The pond is full of tadpoles, the clearing making it easier to see them all around. There are lots of tiny backswimmers, which will grow to full size in the next month of so. No tadpoles have legs yet. I see a damsel fly mating-pair flitting about the pond. The mating seems to take many hours.

Nearby is a lone foxglove, nearby is Sedum spatulifolium, a low growing succulent with groups of tiny yellow flowers. There’s aquilegia here and there, some blue, some pink. It is such an intricate flower with its four deep trumpets which bees and other insects delve into.

In the Fothergill bed, the orange and red geums have been flowering for weeks. Some plants like the cherry blossom have such a short flowering season, but the geums and marigolds go on for ages.

In the wildflower bed, we are getting a profusion of flowers. One just getting into bloom is scentless mayweed. It has daisy like flowers, but can grow as high as a metre. I spot a couple of corncockles amid many creeping buttercups.

The buddleia is 10 feet high, and is suffering from leaf curl. We’ve had it in previous seasons and it doesn’t do any lasting harm. I look closely at an infected leaf and see tiny mites, and I wonder if they are the cause.

In Earlham Grove, the plane trees are at two different stages. Those that weren’t pruned have a full canopy of leaves, and those pruned to the knuckle have hardly begun. The leaves don’t come until twigs are growing, and these have just started, so these late starting trees are looking rather like giant broccoli.

There’s sick pigeon in the garden. It cannot fly and is very docile, not even walking away when we approach. It is a sad sight, likely it will be a victim of a cat, but there’s nothing we can do for it.

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