It’s grey and very wet here today but this week has been fabulous with frosty starts to sunny days. I’ve been collecting leaves again. We have mature trees in the garden which usually shed their leaves in autumn. In 2016 our Oak trees held onto most of their leaves until just before Christmas. Usually the autumn gales blow many of them away. But this time it’s down to me to clear them from the borders. In places they lay 15cm / 6 inches deep so I’ve been raking up barrow loads of them to make leaf mould. I’ll add it back to the borders when the leaves decompose. There’s nothing like a spot of gardening on a dry January day to get back in touch with nature.
As I collected the leaves I was joined by a tiny robin who perched nearby waiting for me to uncover worms… there were loads underneath the pots I moved so he had a real feast. A wild Mallard duck also followed me around more intent on discovering any acorns and snails lurking under the thick blanket of leaves. I was pleased to find some fat toads too so I swiftly covered them up again with dry leaves. They will help to keep the slugs away from our tender young plants too.
This week a couple of really bright plants caught my eye.
Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ is a tall shrub with bright yellow flowers.
Viburnum opulus, another tall shrub, has glossy red berries. I’ve often wondered why the birds don’t eat these but I’m reliably informed that their disgustingly stinky aroma puts all the birds off them. This is not the Viburnum I grow for amazing white snowball flowerheads. That’s Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’ which as the name suggests doesn’t produce any fruit.
Individually they were eye-catching and together with the bright blue winter sky they were knockout!
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Thanks for reading, liking, commenting and joining in! Gillian x