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The great outdoors

February 4, 2021

Well, I don’t know about “great”, but there was definitely “outdoors”.

Picked up the secateurs before heading down to the garden for the first time in months. When I opened the door – magic!

We currently have an avian wonder doing the rounds on the island: pine siskins. These lovely birds travel together as a flock, alighting as one wherever takes their fancy. Yesterday it was the back of my property. When I opened the door the air filled with scores (I’m tempted to say hundreds, as that’s what it felt like) of them taking flight.


This video wasn’t taken by me. It’s simply to illustrate quite how many of them travel together. And it doesn’t really convey the numbers or the sense of joy instilled in one at the sight of them filling the air. Their appearance have been reported all over the island on the community Facebook page, but this was my first experience. Lucky me.

Down in the garden I realised how completely I’d abandoned it last autumn. No tidying up done whatsoever. Dead tomato plants in beds and pots, dead bean stalks encircling the frames. More than a bit of pruning to do.

Although prune I did – the roses, the raspberries, the red currants, the blueberries, the wild blackberry bush, the gooseberry.  

No sign yet of any new growth on the dwarf apple tree, but lots of buds on the lilacs. (The last thing I did in the garden last autumn was dose them all with dolomite lime – which the garden shop assured me would encourage blossoms, so I’m hoping more than one of them will actually flower this year.)

It was a wonderful couple of hours, a reminder that the cold, wet days will end, that it will soon be time do some serious prep. Also time to try to figure out (again) why there were almost no roses or raspberries last year. What to do? What to do?

Of course this wasn’t the first hint of spring’s approach. For a while now the signs have been there whenever I leave the house.

There are the croci shooting up amidst the lavender in my kitschy window box.

The hyacinths coming up in the pot which should (I hope) also show signs of the begonia purchased last year. No idea what I planted in the pot on the left.

My first-ever irises (from bulbs donated by Tomato Jan) are also appearing. Oh, and look! New growth in the chive pots.

Yes, it was definitely a good idea to get outside.

One Comment
  1. John Galpin permalink

    Put the video on the large screen TV. The cat’s loved it!!

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