It’s mid January so it’s mid winter here in the UK. It’s been milder than usual here in West Lancashire with temperatures hovering around 8°C-10 °C during the day. I’m not surprised to see that there are signs of life in the garden already. Patches of bare earth have fresh green seedlings and spring bulbs are already poking their noses through the dark earth too.
I’ve been raking up leaves again. Each time I do it I tell myself that this is the last time until next autumn but then I find another sheltered place where fallen leaves have gathered. This time I uncovered three trays of plants in 1L pots. I’d forgotten all about them and was delighted to discover lots of lovely Aquilegia produced from seed. I was amazed to see new growth despite them being covered with a good 10cm / 4 inches of wet leaves for the past three to four months.
These are McKanna Hybrids which have beautiful long spurred flowers in shade of pink, white and yellow. I used them for cut flowers last year so I’m very happy that I have another 30 plants to add to our Spring Garden. They don’t look much at the moment but I can already imagine how beautiful they’ll be. Here’s some in a vase last spring.
At first glance things in the garden look bleached and there are dead stalks and leaves everywhere. Closer inspection reveals fresh shoots and buds on many plants. According to the Met Office temperatures are set to drop a little this weekend and it’s possible we may have more frost in February so I’ll leave the final tidy up until then. I like to be sure that our wild visitors have places to shelter and seeds to eat.
Our pond is no exception. We have Bullrushes and Iris which are clinging on to their crispy old leaves. A pair of Moorhens nest here each spring and raise three broods of chicks. They use the strap-like leaves to construct a new nest each time raising it out of the water by weaving layers of dry leaves and fresh pliable new leaves together. Today three wild Mallard ducks were inspecting the pond. They grub around in the mud at the base of the plants for insect larvae to eat and like to shelter in the dead foliage too. There are foxes around here so a safe place to rest is essential for them. You can just about make out the soggy remains of a duck nest at the bottom right of the photo above.
I’m feeling excited because I can see the potential. We’ve had some grey and dismal days but things are already Looking Good in the garden for a burst of life everywhere this spring.
You are most welcome to join in with Looking Good each Friday.
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Gillian 🙂