It’s a chilly grey Sunday afternoon as I write this, from under the blankets on the sofa. I can watch the garden from here, though there’s not much going on. The lawn is covered in brown leaves. Occasionally a sparrow or a robin hops about, sometimes pretending to be a leaf, poking at the soil beneath. Or a leaf, in a small gust of wind, pretends to be a bird.
The field fare has been back in recent days, and a small flock of long-tailed and great tits have found the feeder. More often, though, there’s only one or two visitors at a time, a blue tit or the nuthatch. The squirrels are less active at the moment, which gives the birds a better chance of getting the food.
The winter is a fairly quiet time for the garden. We don’t have much in the way of winter-flowering plants – the winter crocuses came and went before Christmas – although the heathers are still happy in their corner, and the Christmas tree is thriving since returning to the Great Outdoors. The magnolia and fig, both still wrapped in hessian blankets of their own, are so far managing the cold.
M is adding to the winter flowers, though, and beginning to think of summer. The last trip to a garden centre found us with snowdrops – of the non-native Polar Bear variety. I look forward to when they flower. I have hopes of bear shapes, though no doubt I will be disappointed. (I understand it has more to do with their size.) He planted some daffodil bulbs with the snowdrops, hoping that the pot will confound the squirrels, which will hopefully give us a cheerful golden display at the start of spring. We’ve already started buying bunches for the vase indoors.
Soon, there’ll be more planters and more bulbs planted, assuming the squirrels leave the daffodils alone, and maybe even a few vegetables. There’s an onion or two sprouting in the kitchen window M wants to try growing properly, along with a garlic clove. They seem quite happy in the window. And fruit bushes, to go with the fig tree.