Gertie’s Garden, May 2017

Gertie’s Garden, May 2017

The beginning of May was dominated by Vixen and her cubs and fortuitously, through the Gardenwatchcam, visiting birds including hitherto unspotted, Chaffinches!

Vixen was revisiting the garden each day, bringing her cubs as well as scraps of foraged food, and looking for birdseeds spilt by Squidge under the bird table on Blue Hill. Friend, Cilla/Jane has suggested some dog biscuits for her ….. a good idea. :-) .

It was on May 9th that I first spotted the rat!

I bought a recommended kit to rid myself of it, but of course, I haven’t used it. I am told that foxes eat rats don’t they? Well, if a fox ate a rat which had ingested poison …end of fox ennit! The rat seemed to be living in proximity to, if not in, the same area as the foxes.

In addition to all the animal excitement … [ oh and did I say I have halted feeding both fox and birds for the moment, until the rat disappears?] … flowers and blooms are coming out more and more … and it’s very colourful out there.

With the first Peace rose, all sorts of other flowers are lighting up.

Clematis has climbed right up the Holly tree, and blue Campanula is fabulous.

The last Tulip, one from last year, has bloomed beautifully. … [ Have dead-headed the rest now…by 14.05.017]

Strawberry flowers are gorgeous this year …

Columbines have proliferated, and a pink Valerian from a garden in Somerset, too.

As the last Tulip hosts a growing crowd of tiny crawling critters, so rose buds begin to unfurl … Love their fragrant silkiness. Aphids are proliferating as the weather warms up.

The spiky yellow of Kerria is replaced by paler Potentilla blossoms; primroses long gone.

Clematis over the Arbour, its sweet scent fading, has been replaced by clematis up the Holly tree, and promises from fat buds by the sheds….. I do miss the fragrance though.

Mrs. Vixen continues to visit … this out-of-focus shot I nervously took on 13th, as she stared at me cowering on the balcony!,   :lol:

The Clematis bud has now opened ….. and the Cranesbill, Ann Folkard, was suddenly there, almost crept awake by stealth whilst I was fox-watching.

It’s very pretty on the Blue Hill, but i need to get the Blue Geranium from The Pres.

Despite the worsening ravages of playful fox cubs, the garden is calm and colourful …

… and filling up with fragrant roses, with most of the black spot gone.

In what has been a particularly chaotic fashion so far this season, attempts to sort out and tidy in the garden are being about as successful as that same activity indoors!

Very pretty Strawberry plants, some repotted and fed, others just made comfortable where they are, are blooming all over the place. The white ones’ fruits look promising; the red will be small and decorative.

There are white roses coming out, but I don’t remember where from!

Tonight, 22.05.2017, I went up to the roof to photograph a curious sky, and also got this view of Gertie’s Garden ‘back room’ where the fox den shed is, and which clearly shows the proximity of the Wreck and its devastation, at the back.

There is one week left for May 2017, in which a certain amount of tidying around the shed has to be done. I wonder what effect it may have on the latest garden inhabitants.

I shall also add that where Robin has been the main singer and follower in the garden in past months, he rarely visits now: maybe he is disappointed at the dearth of meal worms, or afraid , when there were some there, of the Starling ‘pirates’. Anyway, now the garden is filled all day long with the melodic songs of Black birds … really lovely.


On a morning filled with sadness at the news filtering down from Manchester I spent some time in the garden, well watering the ground , and the composter, [thankfully free from ants for the time being … [ thanks MickyP J] and trimming back, or tying back, vigorous growth.

The Blackcurrants are now open to the sunshine when it comes around, but open to predators too, so I guess I will have to net them asap. A gorgeous, white Foxglove is opening its buds in the shady area next to the Arbour, along with tall Teasels to come, and Sweet Cicely which is rapidly giving me seed heads ….. yes!

I vacillate between frustration at the lack of direct sunshine there, and pleasure at having plants that enjoy the shade at last!

I always think of my friends in GC and around, who helped with these shade-loving plants. Gardening is a lone pleasure, shared.

Another Clematis opens; a bud within a bloom.

Where the Blue Campanula has been lush for weeks White Campanula is now starting to bloom, and I can see traces of pale blue in the buds.

24.05.2017 … Clematis bud in bloom has opened, and so has red Dame de Court .

On a lovely sunny afternoon I am attempting to clean up a growing forest of seedlings growing, unwanted, under the bird feeding station. There I have taken out some pink geraniums, and am planting blue ones I purchased from the local garden centre, The Secret Garden.


Sometimes I feel that May is one of the longest months of the year … [along with November, maybe.] It links remnants of Winter … Spring beginnings … blossoms in sunshine with Summer promise. The garden becomes a haven, a work place, a learning centre … love it.

Sometimes a birds’-eye view is good, cleared up after a ?-fox cubs Spillage!

Mind-yer-own- … is spreading beautifully despite being trodden on and abused by falling leaves and ever-opportunistic growing Sycamore trees!!

Amazing in the bright sunlight; this photo of Black Elder flowers is un-modified.

The GWCam had this picture on it today, 26th …..

27th …I watched them running about in the garden, exploring and curious …

   Grooming and relaxed … around 0600 !

… peckish and playful … but difficult to photograph:- so speedy or hidden from view!!

Tonight, around nine p.m., I saw a cub roaming the top of Blue Hill. He started when He heard a noise, but stayed there, so i took a gamble and opened the front door, throwing out a few fat balls onto the back path. He went inside the Den straight away of course, so when i collect the GWCam i shall place the fat balls by the water and see if they are gone by the morning. Up until now I haven’t put out dog biscuits, because of the rat, but soon I probably will. I have borrowed a friend’s ‘humane’ rat trap and if the cubs don’t get him, then I hope to. I’ll release him in the Nature Park.

The month is rapidly drawing to a close, and it’s been a very colourful one … roll on June and the beginning of Summer.

Anne ….. …05.2017


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