Dear Readers, I needn’t have worried about the dearth of starlings, because on Friday last week the little devils arrived in droves. The parent birds seem to practice an avian form of ‘tough love’ – at first they feed the fledglings as soon as they start squawking, but after the first day the gaps between feeds get longer and longer. The youngsters still spend a lot of time watching the sky, but pretty soon they seem to get the hang of that pecking business and are starting to feed themselves. Managing the suet feeder takes a little longer, but by the end of the week this lot will all be pretty much offhand, and their parents can take a well-deserved break.
In other news, the hawthorn is in full flower, and very fine it looks too.
It’s a flowering-year for the whitebeam, too, though the rain has turned the flowers on the rowan a horrible brown colour. Did I mention the rain? It’s been showery rather than persistent, but there is some rain forecast for every day for the next fortnight. The garden will love it.
And now I have a mystery, but please don’t tell me! I planted these bulbs in a pot and have completely forgotten what they were. Fingers crossed it will be something interesting, and I’ll keep you posted.
And I am extremely happy with the way that my angelica is doing. Goodness, what a beast! The flowerheads are just forming, and I’m hoping for lots of happy hoverflies. The RHS reckon that it’s a biennial or short-lived perennial, so it might be that after this year it just disappears, which would be a shame as it looks so spectacular.
Nobody nested in my nestboxes this year, but the nestbox next door is occupied by blue tits, who seem to spend half the day swearing at the cats and the magpies in the garden. I have to brace myself for the emergence of the fledglings, they’re so small and vulnerable.
Elsewhere my perennial wallflowers are doing very nicely, and so are the forget-me-nots, though the woodruff that I planted has keeled over and died in less than a week. What’s up with that, I wonder? Still, as a gardener you win some, you lose some…
And my ‘yellow border’ in the side return is a mass of greater celandine and yellow corydalis and some green alkanet. I could pull them all up and plant something that won’t grow, but what would be the point of that?
The hemp agrimony has grown about six inches in a week (or so it seems). Next to them, the lily of the valley is coming up, and if it wants to take over that entire corner, it’s more than welcome.
The climbing hydrangea is having a very good year, and will be in flower soon, just in time for the ashy mining bees to turn up.
And the lady’s mantle is popping up yet again. I love those hydrophobic leaves!
And finally, I also love a happy accident. I’d completely forgotten about this creamy-white wallflower, and now it’s in flower, next to a herb Robert, and what looks like a red valerian. It’s amazing the way that nature puts things together sometimes.