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April 2020

Frog and spawn in pond

2nd - Looking like I have a solitary frog left guarding the several clumps of spawn that have been produced. Am not sure if this is due to the much colder weather or if the heron has been having a buffet!

2nd - Pond plants are starting to show nicely with the marsh marigolds giving a lovely display of colour.

2nd - The heather is providing some good early feeding for the insects whilst the globe thistle is thinking about coming out into the air. Am delighted to see these snakeshead fritillaries as it has taken many years to be able to persuade them that they really do want to grow in the garden!

2nd - How do those little wings keep a bee in flight?  Even insects need to practice cleanliness!

4th - Good to see the rhubarb starting to look like dessert!  The garlic is planted around the rose bushes - will it succeed in keeping the greenfly away? Have added some onion sets in there as well.

4th - The goat willow is starting to bud nicely - this is its third year and looks to be well established now. A couple of different clematis - the scond one is from a cutting of a plant that was originally given to my parents in the last century - 1972!

4th - Nice to see some of the "wilder" plants starting to come through.  It was just over a year since a rambling old hedge was removed and the flora is beginning to recover from all the trampling that took place while I did that.

4th - Interestingly, some of the frog spawn is well below the water surface and appears to have been deposited there rather than it sinking.

5th- More flora appearing - always lovely to see the first buds come through.

5th - Tortoiseshell in resplendent condition and ladybird about to fly.... And there are spiders in the heather...

7th - The insects were out enjoying the lungwort.

7th - Even the rosemary is starting to flower.

7th - Pleased to see a long tailed tit drinking from the pond and there were a pair of song thrushes on the other side of the garden (again photographed through double glazing...)

7th - Super pink moon - apparently so named as it appears at the same time of year as some of the "pinker" flowers start to bloom.

14th - Above is a varied collection of the plants blooming and surviving in the garden - despite my best attempts. Delighted to see that, after several years trying, I finally have some snakeshead fritillaries worthy of the name - hopefully they will spread nicely in their area. It looks like there will be eight teasels this year - always a delight to see where they will appear from. Clematis is doing well as is honeysuckle. And enjoying the insect life.... it is great to see them on the heather and other plants.

15th - Another couple of hours in the garden. Interesting tree - it appears to be a graft with what I think is a cherry that flowers before the other side. The hawthorn hedge is from self seeded plants dug out from where they started. Tadpoles are swimming free and amazing what you catch insects up to by the pond! Was pleased to be able to get a couple of images of the newts - they don't like to hang around...

17th - Finally got around to putting the (9kg) Owl box up on the tree. I can hear the Tawny Owls calling so now a matter of time and luck to see if they will use this box next year.

18th - A (very) cool day in the garden watching the bullfinches demolish my apple tree buds... The hen blackbirds were busy squabbling while the male kept his distance by running....

18th - Great to see the bee on the early clematis and the heather was alive with hover flies again - not too sure what this one is....

22nd - The garden mice now have stylish and beatifully constructed(!!) feeding station complete with camera....

22nd - The wood pigeons are not respecting the demand for social distancing and then proceeded to fly around collecting twigs for the nest. The last twig was the biggest I saw brought in!

22nd - The Great Tit was trying to blend in with the lichens.

22nd - Nice to see the Rosemary starting to flower and I enjoyed the backlit Hazel. The Swedish Whitebeam is budding nicely and the remaining apple blossom (thanks finches!) is looking good. I was fortunate to be given another four northern march orchids the other day - they still have some growing to do! The delicate pink of the clematis looks nice in the early morning sun - it also appreciated by the bees!

23rd - Jenny wren at her ablutions hiding discreetly in the foliage.

23rd - Almost tripped over this lovely yellow and white flower in a quiet corner of the garden. One of the hostas seems to be appearing on the "mound" while the four week old forget-me-nots are giving a great display of colour. The pink and white clematis is starting to flower. The rosemary flowers are so delicate and not that obvious. The cowslips are showing nicely in the "wild" area.

23rd - The insects seem to appreciate the lungwort and it always amazes me how they fly with such small wings - the blurs appear despite a shutter speed of 1/1250 second! A different hover fly to the ones usually seen on the heather. I followed the green-veined white around for quite a while before it settled - almost, but not quite, out of reach!

24th - Some more insects - a hover fly living up to it's name; a wasp looking at all the wood chippings and a bee approaching the lungwort. The Orange Tip led me a merry dance around the garden for ages before it finally settled for a few seconds.

24th - Newly planted "Bee Balm" as the label says! Clematis growing way up into the fir tree beside it. A bud from Dublin Bay - one of the first rose buds this year. Cherry blossom.

24th - Blackbird out foraging for the chicks. Song thrush enjoying the sun, having a good poke around and then giving me the evil eye!

24th - A frog that the heron did not get!  Now hiding under the foliage - wise thing.

25th - Waterboatmen with and without lunch - no idea what "lunch" is! Still a tadpole or two left as well as quite a few newts. A couple of pond skaters were keeping busy.

25th - Good to see the aquatic plants coming through.

25th - Plenty of insects out and about today especially around the pond.

25th - Robin was out collecting food - there must be a brood somewhere! Great Tits were busy on the feeders while the Tawny Owl was serving mouse for dinner - had not seen this until I looked at the photo!

25th - Found some bluebells under the hazel while some signs of growth from my onion sets. The garlic is doing well and the yellowrattle is getting there.

30th - A bit of rain last night has helped the Strawberries and Rhubarb - might even have some dessert this year.....

30th - Found some "Lords & Ladies" where the hedge used to be - be nice to see these come into bloom.

30th - The remaining Hostas appear to be coming up nicely.

30th - A couple of ferns starting to show nicely.

Bee balm plant Bugle starting to grow

30th - These are also doing nicely (note how plants are labelled to avoid brain fade?)

Primroses in flower Cowslips in flower Irises growing well in the pond

30th - Primroses and cowslips are still showing well and the flags are gaining height.

Grafted cherry tree in bloom An old apple tree in bloom Katy apple tree in full bloom

30th - The "double" tree from the front garden with a lovely red blossom display and two of the four apple trees in full bloom - just before the petals drop.

Tawny owl looking out of a chimney Top of ffir tree lit by late evening light

30th - The Tawny Owl, nesting in the chimney next door, justs sits there and ignores the Blackirds and Jackdaws that scream at it - long suffering..... And a fleeting moment of the last rays of sunlight for the month on the firs at back of the garden.