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Forum => Cafe => Topic started by: oldtone27 on 27 Feb 2021 01:51PM

Title: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 27 Feb 2021 01:51PM
Monday is Meteorological spring, although with the warm sun and nearly clear skies it seems like its here already.

Apart from the snowdrops and daffs out now I came across a small patch of planting on the outskirts of our town. It is tended by the local horticultural society and is a delight, Nothing flashy, but had a wealth of little blooms such as crocus, violets, cyclamen, muscari, some little blue flowers I couldn't identify plus mini daffs all mixed in with various leafy plants. Really gave me a lift.

Also uplifting was the harbour with barely a ripple and just a few paddle boarders, not enough wind for sails or kites. Plus the view towards the Purbecks with the merest haze was perfect. Bliss.

Thought you might like to learn of something a little joyous for a change.  :f_smiley:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 27 Feb 2021 05:40PM
I love the first signs of Spring. It's such a hopeful season that always makes me smile. 
The elder tree that is host to my bird feeders has very swollen buds on it, and I'm sure it will break into leaf in another week or two. 
The dawn chorus is just beginning, very briefly at the moment, but they've started up.
I need to get my nesting boxes up quickly as it will be too late if we leave it much longer. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the garden and wildlife develop this Spring and Summer as it will be our first since moving here.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: SashaQ on 27 Feb 2021 08:52PM
That patch of planting does sound lovely, Oldtone

I've been enjoying the crocuses this week
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 28 Feb 2021 09:08AM
Talking of tree buds I was thinking yesterday that the birches seem late this year. I'm sure this time last year their leaves were just beginning to burst. This year the buds are still tightly closed.

Still the blossom are appearing on the ornamental cherries.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 28 Feb 2021 09:17AM
That's an enormous patch of crocuses, Sasha! An absolute riot of colour. 

Oldtone-Snowdrops are ore one of my favourite flowers. Their simplicity is part of their beauty. When looked at closely, the colour and pattern is just incredible. Mind you, I wouldn't pay the sorts of prices that these collectors pay for a single bulb! I much prefer the simple varieties in groups with small daffodils, just as you described. Absolutely delightful. We're the small blue flowers you saw with them grape hyacinths?
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 28 Feb 2021 10:05AM
DD, No. Muscari are grape hyacinths, the blue flowers were little pale blue stars, about an inch across, with broad petals. Had a quick look through a flower book but couldn't spot them.

Its another bright spring morning today. My snowdrops are still flowering and I have a pot of vivid red cyclamen on the patio which have been glorious for weeks. They look delicate, but seem to survive whatever the weather, although I must admit the weather in these parts is not particularly challenging.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 28 Feb 2021 02:16PM
It's wonderful to catch up on such a lovely thread a descriptions of spring and the way nature is responding to the sunshine of blue skies our wondrous. 

I love snow drops too you'll be nice to go up to the woods where we take the dogs because they have all swedes of snow drops and daffodils and then the blue balls come later I think. I'm at the top of the garden right now The dogs have been making it their own domain throughout the winter so I can't get to where I think there are snow drops but maybe in a few days.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 28 Feb 2021 03:17PM
I've just spotted some concusses popping up in a shady part of the garden. The blue bells spikes are well through, but no sign of buds yet. At bit early I think, they come on all of a sudden.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 28 Feb 2021 04:08PM
Your garden sounds lovely Oldtone. 

I'm looking forward to getting my Covid jab on Friday and the end of lockdown as I was given some garden vouchers to spend at the garden centre for  my birthday last year. I would like to buy some large pots at the front of my bay window. It sits in sun most of the day, but and this is a big but, is it can be very windy. It's about a three minute walk to the sea and the wind can come off the sea quite frequently.  

What sort of planting would you suggest?  I've looked online for suggestions and it appears to be a bit contradictory. 
If anyone has any ideas, I'm completely open! I had thought of some evergreen shrubs however I'm not sure how wind or salt tolerant they might be. 

I need help!
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 01 Mar 2021 11:20AM
My garden is nothing special and is quite small. The plot is wide but shallow and fairly well fenced in.

Its a typical suburban garden surrounded by trees. In particular a magnificent English Oak just over the rear fence. Its new owner wanted to cut it down a few years ago, because of the leaf fall would you believe. Fortunately the council refused only allowing a bit of thinning and tidying. Their tree surgeon made a good job and preserved its character, and some squirrels call it home.

I also have a few mature silver birches in a small cluster behind my shed and another near the kitchen. They provide pleasant dappled shade in the summer, but the oak does give dense shade until the late afternoon.

In the other corner an old greenhouse is covered in holly and ivy in which robins have been nesting for year. Probably a few generations. Noisy little birds. Otherwise the garden is visited by the tits sparrows, wood pigeons and a local greater spotted woodpecker. There are a good number of mature trees in the area.

Otherwise the garden is mostly given over to shrubs with just a few flowers under. I only have a couple of small flower beds as such plus a few planters. I have quite a big patch of shrubs behind my garage which is untouched apart from light trimming around the edges and this is favoured by blackbirds. Dense enough for nesting and they love to turn over the leaf litter underneath.

There is a long semi wild shrubbery along the rear with old branch piles which I think attract insects as birds are constantly  popping in and out,.

Otherwise most of it is small lawn and paving around. It pretty minimal maintenance. Mostly edging, I only mowed the back once last year to let the grass grow. Not many flowers, but a pleasing variety of grass heads which lasted for months much to my surprise. Going to do the same this year.

Biggest task is weeding the paving which has quite a big area of rough stone in the front. I have a very reasonable gardener who comes as needed to do the back breaking stuff.

Next job will be a small amount of summer planting, in a month or two.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 01 Mar 2021 06:16PM
You paint a beautiful picture of a haven of peace and tranquillity.  Gardens don't have to be large to have beauty and wildlife value.

You obviously like to see the wildlife in your garden, and I do too. To me, anything else is just barren. I'm very concerned about the drop in garden birds over the last 20 or so years. We don't get any starlings at all anymore, whereas they were used to be a constant feature everywhere. 

Has anyone else noticed the decline in bird numbers in their own areas?
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 02 Mar 2021 09:24AM
DD, I agree with you about starlings. As a child I used to see them everywhere. Recently I have only seen a few mostly in the spring and usually as a parent with youngsters. They will turn up for a couple of days and then vanish. 

I have in my present house for 30 years plus, but have seen a significant decline in the common species. I have noticed an increase in magpies and more often see the occasional jackdaw which would be rare when I first arrived.

Other occasional visitors are long-tailed tits, always in a gang, but not as many finches.

I think I get quite a few bird visitors as there are no resident cats nearby so they are only disturbed by the occasional moggie on patrol.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 02 Mar 2021 11:49AM
Quote
I love the first signs of Spring. It's such a hopeful season that always makes me smile.
Likewise, even though I don't have my own private garden - the morning birdsong becomes more melodious as we progress through March, I love to hear it.  The lenghtening daylight gives me a boost as well, plus seeing the daffodils and other spring flowers popping up in the local park :wilted_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 02 Mar 2021 03:23PM
Lockdown seems to have made people much more appreciative of the green space around them and the value of them to the local communities. Hopefully, this will continue and people will start to care more about the environment around them and try to enhance it in any way they can.
I'm also hoping the government will increase protection to green spaces and integrate more of it into housing developments. Forever optimistic, I know  :f_laugh:

I'm pleased your local park has provided you with a lovely place to visit and walk in Kizzy. The ability to have access to these spaces is so important for us to feel better. Kate Humble writes very well about her mental health and the benefits she has found through walking in her book. It's a good read.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 04 Mar 2021 04:25PM
Some many lovely descriptions thank you.

I agree about the birds, I mean we have cats so the birds dont come in the garden itself much but we have but feeders out of the cats reach and the food just does not get eaten.

Again back when I was a child on Sundays Mum would put leftovers, stale bread etc in a big flat dish and put it on the lawn. The starlings arrived i n a mob, squabbling for the food so much pieces got dropped on the outer edges which little birds would quietly share.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 14 Mar 2021 09:01AM
MrDD saw lots of lovely jelly like clumps of frog spawn in the large pond in the park when he was walking the dog this morning. 

We've had some very strong winds and rain over the last few days. Today it has calmed down considerably and there is some blue sky to be seen. The elder tree outside our sitting room window is just bursting into leaf, with that beautiful, vibrant green peeking through. My bird feeders all hang from this tree, which I can also view clearly from the bedroom. First thing in the morning, we raise the blind and watch the early feeding squabbles between the various birds. They all have their own personalities and it's comical and fascinating to watch.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 14 Mar 2021 10:02AM
It was very windy yesterday with quite an edge to it, but in the shelter of the car the sun felt really strong. A few threatening clouds but only a couple of spits fell.

This morning is calmer and sunny, but still with a cool breeze. As for flowers the early tulips are just starting to open. They seem to be a couple of weeks later this year. If I look out of the window beside my computer the forsythia is glowing brightly in the sun. Very Cheerful.

The biggest activity in the garden is by the squirrels. I'm not sure how many there are but they seem to be everywhere chasing each other. consequently I have given up putting out bird food as feathered visitors don't get a look in. The squirrels can empty a feeder in a couple of hours. The birds still seem to find plenty of stuff in the shrubs and leaf litter.

:wilted_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: lankou on 14 Mar 2021 10:54AM
(https://media.rightmove.co.uk/dir/crop/10:9-16:9/36k/35525/83032162/35525_29789097_IMG_11_0000_max_476x317.jpg)
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 14 Mar 2021 12:19PM
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud 

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/william-wordsworth)
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Mar 2021 06:57PM
Gosh, haven't seen that one in full for quite a while....

My home actually reached 70F late afternoon today, there is more warmth in the sun as the days pass - soon I'll be able to hang my washing on the outdoor line (oh, the exciting life I lead)
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 17 Mar 2021 09:05AM
I don't know why, but this morning I was awoken by a particularly loud rendering of the dawn chorus. I've been woken up by worse things!  :f_whistle: :f_peacedove: :clock:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: lankou on 17 Mar 2021 11:48AM
I don't know why, but this morning I was awoken by a particularly loud rendering of the dawn chorus. I've been woken up by worse things!  :f_whistle: :f_peacedove: :clock:
Same here but it was Corvids, (not Covid) attacking the bird feeder in my back garden.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 17 Mar 2021 11:52AM
Noisy critters those. Mostly magpies with the occasional jackdaw around here.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: lankou on 17 Mar 2021 12:52PM
Noisy critters those. Mostly magpies with the occasional jackdaw around here.
I finally identified them as Rooks. (They scared all my neighbours cats out of my garden.)
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 17 Mar 2021 01:09PM
I occasionally get a large black bird over my garden, but not close enough for me to reliably tell if it is a crow or a rook. Having said that I believe crows tend to be solitary whereas rooks associate with others in small flocks, so I guess I am seeing a crow.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 20 Mar 2021 11:45AM
Today is the first day of astronomical spring when daylight length starts to exceed night length.

I noticed in the last couple of days my forsythia has erupted in flower after a rather poor looking start. The blooms seems extra large and shiny particularly with the sun on them. Not much sun this morning though.

I also noticed, on my drive to the supermarket, that the magnolia buds are just starting to open. Seems to be a lot so we should be in for a magnificent display later in the week.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 29 Mar 2021 11:51AM
It's a lovely sunny morning and the temperature is climbing. Outside my window a blackbird is singing in the silver birch for all he is worth. I believe its mostly the males that sing.

All that despite the racket from a neighbour's who is having a sick oak tree felled and ground up. I don't like seeing trees cut down but this has been looking pretty sparse for a few years and it might be getting dangerous. Maybe it the sawing is making the blackbird sing louder. I understand birds do that to overcome traffic noise. Why not tree felling?
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 29 Mar 2021 03:59PM
It's always sad to see a tree being felled but it is important sometimes for safety or the wellbeing of the tree itself. 
I love the sound of a blackbird singing. It's so distinctive. 

We put up a a blue tit nesting box a couple of weeks ago on the side of our new shed, and I was concerned that I had put it up too late for this season. But we've had visitors popping in and out so I remain hopeful they will actually nest!
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 29 Mar 2021 09:29PM
Tomorrow apparently is a 'mini-heatwave' - T-shirts and shorts at the ready, people :biggrin:

Of course, by Easter weekend we will be seeing below-average temperatures again - hurrah for the Great British Weather :f_erm:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: lankou on 31 Mar 2021 11:06AM
My front garden this morning:-
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 31 Mar 2021 11:36AM
That gorse looks great and I think it smells great too. Like coconut. Good safe haven for small birds as well. Only downside it fights back if you have to trim it.

I don't have any in my garden but there is plenty on the road embankments around here and lots on local heath land.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: bulekingfisher on 31 Mar 2021 10:24PM
Hello OldTone27 

The picture you paint is idyllic + I wish II lived there but I am trying to teach the World that disabled can create + manage their own scoiety with out been molly coddled/patronised by an arrogant/self centred bunch of holier than thou people (do-gooders)
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 01 Apr 2021 08:56AM
I'm not sure idyllic is the right adjective, but this part of the south coast does offer some great countryside and beaches. Where I live is actually quite suburban, but it is mature suburbia with lots of green spaces and large trees.

Its also not far go into the depths typical southern rolling landscape and isolated coves. Even the towns are not to bad. Offers the best of both worlds I think.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: bulekingfisher on 01 Apr 2021 08:12PM
Hello Old Tone 27

Where I used to live with my mum we looked out on an old fruit orchard + all the local bird's would sit in the tree's + sing in the dawn chorus + I could lay in bed + listen to our feathered friend sing their heart's out as I had the fan-light window open + I really miss it here in Kippax
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 02 Apr 2021 11:48AM
Last year I let my back lawn run wild. It didn't produce much flower but the grasses were quite attractive and the seed heads lasted a long time.

This spring I noticed a few 'weeds' appearing, no flowers yet, plus a stray polyanthus. In addition I have  sown some wild flower seeds. Partly in a couple of tubs and the remainder scattered over the lawn particularly on a few somewhat bald patches.

The tubs should take ok. Not sure how well the lawn will as not all seeds will have landed on bare earth but some may have snuggled between the grass blades. It should be an interesting experiment. :wilted_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Fiz on 02 Apr 2021 01:03PM
I've never attempted to attach a photo before so I have no idea if this will work but it seems particularly appropriate this spring!
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 02 Apr 2021 01:09PM
I like that. Sums up the British weather perfectly.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 02 Apr 2021 09:30PM
:f_laugh:  Fiz - but different clothes only daily?  This week I've been starting with a vest top and jumper in the mornings and changing into just a T-shirt in the mid-afternoon!
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 03 Apr 2021 01:29PM
Today the weather is all over the place. It started cloudy with s hint f blue and a strong cold breeze. Then is brightened followed by more cloud now its sunny again.

There is some warmth in the sun but only if you can get out of cold persistent wind. I noticed down by the harbour the tide was way out with lots of wading birds foraging along the water's edge.

Also foraging were a couple of blokes surrounded by what looked like giant worm casts. I think they were digging for lugworms. No surfers I could see; probably too shallow except for the shipping channel.

The Purbecks looked nice in the sun. Make the most of it, might be snowing by Monday. That would be unusual for here.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: ditchdwellers on 05 Apr 2021 05:05PM
Having emerged from shielding and drivìng 15 miles to my mum's, I was amazed by how beautiful the magnolia blossom is this year. Just stunning. And the black thorn was smothered in flowers along the A27 as was the wild cherry. 

I felt like I had just come out of a long hibernation and the natural world had continued on it's wonderful journey without me. I felt some how weirdly disconnected from something I have always treasured, studied, trained and worked in.

So I felt the most glorious sense of freedom and delight that the natural world was continuing fine without my beady eye on it  :f_laugh:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: bulekingfisher on 17 Apr 2021 08:41PM
Hello Ditch Dweller


I get woken by pigeon's Cooing at 4am in the tree by my bedroom (I'm in a supported living house) + I leave the window on night lock so I get plenty of fresh air + I get a very good sleep
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 18 Apr 2021 09:05AM
It seems to me that blossom of all sorts has been particularly good this year, even if a bit later than last year. I am now awaiting the annual 'snow' fall; actually the tiny white petals of my amelancia which is in full glorious flower right now.

I also have some clumps of primulas which have more blooms than I recall from previous years. Stunning.

Next bloom to look forward to is the hawthorn bush. :wilted_rose: :wilted_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 24 Apr 2021 12:46PM
Just dropping in to say Hi .. Hi  :f_smiley:

I have been spending a lot of time sorting garden stuff which included fence panel painting and sorting out the garden more. 

It has been typical Spring weather here so it looks lovely warm and sunny outside and then once I am over the doorstep  :f_yikes: freezing.

Huggss to you all.
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 24 Apr 2021 01:15PM
Daffs and grape hyacinths now gone over, but the bluebells are coming out. Mine are mostly in shade so a bit later than those along the sunny roadside.

Very pleasant outside although wind does have a slight chill.

Indoors I have plug bizzie lizzies which I hope to pot on this weekend as I have just had some compost delivered. Now got to lug it to were I can use it. It is heavy, unlike the proverbial bruvver.  :f_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 24 Apr 2021 09:24PM
That happens to be one of my most detested songs ("He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother") - sentimental slopfest, yuk :thumbsdown:


Quote
It has been typical Spring weather here so it looks lovely warm and sunny outside and then once I am over the doorstep  (http://www.ouchtoo.org/Smileys/akyhne/f_yikes.gif) freezing.
Yes, that annoying, nagging cold wind seems to be hanging around at the moment, very deceptive!
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Fiz on 25 Apr 2021 11:24AM
I know nothing of gardening. The local authority have dug a deep trench across the entrance to the park next to my house, almost certainly to prevent travellers camping there. I have planted beebombs along the mound of earth because I thought wildflowers would be pretty. BUT the flipping things need to be kept damp so I am having to carry out washing up bowls of water out every day and it's SO painful for my back. Where's the rain when you need it? I actually wish I hadn't put any there!  :f_doh: :wilted_rose:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: oldtone27 on 25 Apr 2021 01:07PM
There is one thing you can rely on in gardening and that is that you CANNOT rely on the British weather.

Maybe cactuses would be a better bet. They would guarantee a flood. :f_hug:
Title: Re: Spring
Post by: Fiz on 25 Apr 2021 01:19PM
You are so right! Off to order some cacti >>>>