Saturday, 26 April 2014

A wander down to the dell

The garden, or at least select bits of it, is full of spring at the moment. Understand that I am careful to edit out the weedy bits, the unruly bits and the bits that are just soggy mud! However, I'd like to take you for a walk down to the dell where the badgers dwell, as there has been a bit of a change there over the last several months

We'll start at the top though, with the lovely pots that my dear soul keeps refreshed and colourful, to greet us as we step out of the conservatory, they are looking so pretty just now and I wouldn't want you to miss them. There are a lot of bluebells in our flower beds, in fact there isn't a bed that doesn't have some, but they look so lovely at this time of year that I couldn't think of pulling them out, as I'm sure some more fussy gardeners would do. 

I'll skip the middle bits, you've seen the highlights in the last two posts, and what I really want to show you is this, our very first apple blossom. We've planted a dual fruit apple, with two stems grafted onto one rootstock; a cooker and an eater. And here is the lovely cluster of flowers on one of them, a delicious ruffle of pink and white that promises much pleasure to come. I'm thinking arching sprays of blossom, alive with dancing butterflys; mind you this will require the tree to grow above the level of my kneecaps - it is rather wee at the moment but give it time, this is its first year. If these lovely blooms result in fruit, be sure I'll let you know. We also planted a plum, called Herman. I failed to get pictures of its starry white flowers, but it also promises good things, including a fine crop of fruit this year, so again, I will report! I suspect they will also be popular with the badgers once we have more fruit than we can use - perhaps fermented windfalls will result in drunken badger parties!

And here is the other thing I want to show you. We had some rugged steps installed in the Autumn. They look at bit raw now, but getting to the bottom was a bit of an obstacle course before, as the badgers create an ankle breaking muddle of holes and clumps in their foraging for worms. We are both aware that we are significantly past the first flush of youth, and want to keep this part of the garden accessible once we get old, frail and wobbly!

You can see one lone daffodil at the moment, but earlier in the season there was a lovely trail of them all along this side of the steps. On the right hand side, as well as the plum and apple, we are nestling some wild flowers against the steps (to avoid those enthusiastic badgers) and have scattered liberal handfuls of wild flower seed all about to, encourage more variety in this little bit of urban wild space. At the very bottom is the path that the foxes and badgers use in their nightly explorations. It winds it's way between Hogweed, Queen Anne's Lace and nettles (a very good host plant for caterpillars)

and looking back, you can see how satisfied Rum and Raisin are with their new viewing platforms. In another few weeks the steps will almost disappear in a froth of umbellifers and whatever else comes up this year

On the way back up, we should  pause in the vegetable garden to admire the beans - aren't these flowers delightful?

Then we stop again to see that the lilac blossom are starting to open - this tree seems to flower every other year, though a quick bit of Googling suggests this may be because I've not cut back the flower heads so will try that this year.

A little further and we find ourselves back at the top of the garden, just in time to catch the sunlight making the bluebells glow. Who could resist them?


  1. What a beautiful garden! I for one thoroughly approve of letting nature have sway - at least some of the time - there's not much point in taking out bluebells anyway, they only seem to take it as a challenge and come back stronger next time. Actually in our garden they're more of a feature this year, as I've decided to think of the garden more as a nature reserve and less of a show garden... I am a very fickle gardener, but I do very much appreciate what other people do.

    1. I am a pretty fickle gardener as well, it's a good trait to have if you want a nature garden, stops you being too fussy about "weeds", ie native plants that fit the ecology and make a perfect nature reserve!