These little chaps were quite entertaining; dashing about picking up the bird nuts and then scurrying off to eat them. I find the mice quite endearing and don't mind them being in the garden. They dig up the odd bulb (and last year scoffed all the strawberrries) but as long as they stay outside that's fine by me; I like the fact that the local wildlife choose to make a home here.
This was the first day that I've spent time in the garden this year and it was lovely. My back was a bit sore that night, and the backs of my legs were aching a bit the next day, but I really enjoyed my time tidying up the garden and filling the recycling bin to bursting point.
I love the expectation that spring brings. We've had a long, cold winter this year so I'm sure that a few plants won't have survived, but the hardy spring beauties are out in force. The primulas are flowering well, and will do so for much of the rest of the year with some dead heading and clearing away of dead leaves. They're not showy, or glamorous, or exotic, but they are the stalwarts of the spring garden and I love their simple cheery blooms.
The snowdrops have been flowering for 6 weeks now, and despite a heavy battering of rain and wind last week their nodding heads still look perfect.
I have a few different varieties of the taller daffodils in the garden that haven't showed their faces yet, but the smaller 'Tete-a-tete' are just coming into flower now. Our garden can get quite blustery so these are perfect; they flower their socks off for weeks and just shrug off even high winds.
After clearing away the old foliage and pruning back the protective winter stems, the garden is looking quite fresh and perky.
Lots of shoots are appearing and new leaves are unfurling, like those on this lupin. I adore lupins; I think they could possibly be my favourite garden flower. I love the different colours (bright or pale, single or bi-colour or iridescent); and the umbrella-like leaf; and the shape of the flower spike and the structure of the individual flowers (Mother Nature is so clever isn't she?)
The buds on the Forsythia are ready to burst. I wonder why most of the flowers in the spring garden are yellow? Any ideas? (Must remember to look that one up some day.)
And finally (with the sun making a brief appearance) is this photo of my Chaenomales. I have no idea of the variety of this flowering quince (I got it from a former colleague in a swap for a pair of new shoes that were too big!), but it has the most gorgeous, rich coral flower. The brick wall isn't a good foil for the flower colour, but as the plant is still in it's pot I hope to find a good spot for it when we move house.
Yes! We plan to move house this year! The sprucing up of the house is nearly finished, the decluttering is well underway, and the tidying of the garden has started - so I reckon by the end of April we should have it on the market. I'm very excited about a new house, and most importantly a new garden, but I shall be sad to let this one go. I have lots of lovely memories of my Dad sitting and chatting in the garden, and of our three cats (all of whom are buried here) but it's time to move on and I'm looking forward to making nice memories in a new patch.