Spring has always been my favourite time of year. The colours, the sounds, the gentle energy, the daily discoveries.
The days are warming but without the heat of midsummer and the days get gradually longer.
Winter’s cold is just a retreating shadow and the garden buzzes with life.
For some of the visitors to the garden this is the craziest season of all. The birds are raising young and have little time for themselves. Their recently polished plumage, at it’s best to attract a mate, now starts to look dishevelled. There isn’t the same amount of time for preening with a nest full of babies to cater for.
Now is the time some high energy food is welcomed to supplement their fresh diet of insects and grubs. Even the wary Jays and Jackdaws come to the feeders close to the house.
The squirrels don’t visit, they stay closer to their dreys in the woods where their food supply is now much more plentiful.
Insects of all kinds abound, often glimpsed as tiny sunlit stars against the background of dark evergreen leaves.
In the wilder edges of the garden, a multitude of wild flowers are appearing. The bright white starry panicles of woodruff against deep green palmate leaves brighten deep shaded corners.
The glorious blue of Germander speedwell dots the grass and Toadflax adds violet shades to dry stone walls, cracks and crevices. Herb Robert, a member of the Geranium family, produces it’s ferny foliage and pretty pink flowers in dryer areas. All are valuable sources of nectar for bees and other pollinating insects.
Chive flowers remain stubbornly wrapped in their wine coloured sheathes. I expect they’ll open up next week and provide a fabulous source of nectar for all kinds of bees.
Each week, usually on a Monday I publish a new installment showing the changes in this edge of a northern English city garden.
The garden is mostly planted with shrubs and trees round the borders and lawned for the rest. But rather than keep it tidy and neat, I allow nature to take over, letting wild flowers grow and support our all important pollinators. I also provide food for birds and shelter for small mammals by leaving log piles, leaves and drying grass. This both helps the environment and brings me much pleasure.
Most of the photographs are my own, but I may sneak one of my husband’s in from time to time :-)
I hope they inspire people to get out in their gardens with their cameras rather than waiting for those trips away. It’s great practise and can produce some wonderful shots.