GGDiary for July, 2018 … Week four …

GGDiary for July, 2018 … Week four …

Baby Robin was like a little oil painting as he sat patiently and watched the baby Blue Titmouse with a parent, at the fat ball feeder, before going there himself. He is losing his speckles, and red feathers are now appearing on his breast.

Up in the Holly tree a Wood Pigeon sat majestically, staring around …..

… Whilst elsewhere in the tree Gold Finches awaited their turns on the bird feeders,  squabbling noisily amongst themselves whilst trying to get their shares!

A young Collared Dove ignored me as I wandered around watering the plants.

That was on Sunday, 21st July. On Monday and Tuesday I did little but water the gardens. After finding a green caterpillar [Cabbage White larva?] and putting it onto the bird tabletop, I found two more horrors, which had eaten my Purple Sage to tatters! They went for bird food too!

Am aware that I am ‘personalising’ these non-human critters, but watching their behaviour makes it very difficult not to!

One thing I did accomplish … and it feels like a real accomplishment in this weather! … was to hang another basket, re-done with a batch of Aldi plants … Aldi have been selling triple plants in a pot for £2,99 and they’re very pretty. We looked for more in another Aldi, but so far, no luck! These apparent bargains are snapped up pretty quickly … note to self, ‘be greedy next time’ !


25th July. Wednesday. … I took a photo of the moon as it approaches a ‘Blood Moon’ due on July 27th .

… I quote from Google ….

The shining bright white hue of the moon will be transformed into a bewitching deep blood red for UK observers tomorrow, July 27, during the longest total lunar eclipse seen this century.

Stargazers in the British Isles will enjoy a rare celestial display as the eerie-looking red moon rises above the horizon, on a night Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years.

The eclipse is predicted to last a record-breaking 1 hour 43 minutes. However, UK observers will be slightly late to the party, as the moon will already be in the Earth’s shadow when it appears at around 9pm.

Sky watchers in much of the Eastern Hemisphere will be able to view the awe-inspiring astronomical event, however observers…

26,07.2018 after taking a b’day card, with Dame de Court on it, to Sid for his 96th birthday, I took a posy of GG flowers to my appreciative new friend from Jamaica, Judy. We first met at the hospital, each of us having stents fitted after heart attacks, and we have become friends. Judy loves growing herbs & veg. And wants my help with rose cuttings for the communal garden chez-elle.

There are Forget-me-nots [Myosotis] seeds from Lynn to plant asap on Blue Hill, but have to prepare the ground first as the bird seeds are flourishing there!! It’s excruciatingly hot … by the time I have watered GG, downstairs’ front and chez Maria’s, I’m too pooped to take advantage of the slightly cooler evenings to wield a hoe … wimp!


This afternoon at 16.01, there was a small flash followed by a deep rumble, then the Heavens opened and heavy rain started to jump on the patio, so much so that I closed the back door of the Glassroom. The rain quickly lessened and after less than three minutes it stopped.

Earlier we had watched young Goldfinches being slightly more co-operative on the feeder … I could imagine the conversations going on …

I have some very prettily painted new blooms waiting to be planted … found in the Garden Centre when I spent my £10 off on a large container in which to transplant an ailing rose which is being bullied by a succulent next to it.

As I write, frankly rather exhausted by the heat, we have a little more rain …The garden loves it … please let it be enough to obviate the evening watering ritual!

After posting a cheque to MickyP for Mycorrhizal Fungi which he has already posted, I enjoyed coming into GG again and following the little paths …..

… noting with pleasure that the beleaguered Hollyhock is still battling on! …

… sitting in the shade of the Arbour and looking around …

… oh dear, even though I pushed back the overhanging Hydrangea, the white Campanula has suffered. I hope that I can save it as I need to send some to Karen when the time is right.

I continue along the tiny paths; Robin watches and listens …..

I love the Blue Geranium; so do the Honey Bees.

Mistreated Tumbling Tom is determined to produce at least one ripe tomato!

Dame de Court flourishes … and the pink climbers bloom again where pruned.

As a bright flash presages an almost immediate clap of thunder, making me jump … rain comes back. It has now rained, almost continually, for over 2 hours. GG loves it and I won’t have to water three gardens tonight.

As two Ring-necked Parakeets fly squawking from the chimney pots to a tree over the way ….

… a certain small, potted tree, growing for the end of the year festivities, is lapping up the stormy rain.

If you look behind it, you can see that old fencing has been taken down. New fencing lies on the ground awaiting erection. I wonder how it will be done. I have chatted with the new neighbours about leaving the Elder tree pretty please, and they said they would. It would be nice if the ivy is left for Winter bird feeding too. I don’t mind trimming it from my side. There is ivy over my garden shed that has to be taken off so that I can re-new the shed roofing, so we shall see.

I couldn’t sleep for ages so kept going up to the roof to see if there was enough cloud clearing to see the moon’s special eclipse; but there wasn’t. It was the same at Sadie’s in Southern France and with Louis and co. at the Tor, in Glastonbury. Maria et al, got some views in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Today, Saturday 28th July, I worked on the new end, moving bricks and other bits of debris from the area, up-ending the old tin bath and clearing the way to get out a large concrete slab, Then I can prepare it for planting proper!

In between mending the gate, Dom helped me to lift heavy things. I tied up some of the Blackberry [we couldn’t find our arch when out shopping ] and picked some of the first berries that have ripened.

The Hollyhock is blooming well and so is a little potted Basil now in the Cold frame cupboard … it’s very pretty!

Tomorrow I intend, weather permitting, to remove the slab and level the bed.

Meanwhile the Goldfinches flock to the Niger feeder, there were six at one point today; it’s the babies that are coming ‘en famille’, and at one stage ‘big bully bird’ waited on the adjacent ball, whilst four young got on with their meals.

I stood at the open front door and looked at birds up in Holly tree, or framed by the rose bushes  as I peered through. The baby Blue Titmouse was standing on one leg, and I noticed for the first time, what sharp long claws it and the young Goldfinches have!

Sunday, July 29th. A wet and windy day. This is how the new bit looks, after all the rain and wind, and nowt else yet done, except that I righted the potted Christmas tree on the balcony, blown over by the wind, and luckily caught  by the railing; and  intrepid Dom finished mending the gate.

Monday , 30th July. A day of mixed garden blessings. The workmen for the new neighbours cut down the Elder despite what I stupidly thought was an agreement not to do so … I won’t repeat what I thought L

Dom managed to clear the ivy they did leave over the garden shed on this side of the old dividing wall between us … as they had cut the ivy all along their side from the roots anyway and just left what was on my shed to dry up … So now there is more sunlight than ever and no ivy food left for the birds come Autumn.

On the plus side, my batch of Mycorrhizal Fungi arrived from Micky, so I am well relieved that I have enough to see me through the next season … thanks Micky.

Last day of July tomorrow … I wonder if it will rain in the early hours.

Tuesday, 31st July. As forecast, it did rain heavily after all, in the early hours of this morning. I was wandering around at about 05.15, when there was another  bright flash of lightning and an almost instantaneous crash of thunder, seemingly right overhead. I had closed all the windows already and just listened to the welcome rain and the storm gradually wandering away to the north east. I had intended to be up and in the garden at that time but rain was doing my first job for me so I drifted back to dreamland.

After the rain, as I tended the plants in the Glassroom, a Pigeon alighted on the bare wall outside and walked back and forth. I wonder if it were looking for the Ivy, the berries of which it had loved to eat during the Winter. The pigeon then explored the still dirty roof of the garden shed and picked over what was left there. Another pigeon joined it and they hopped/flew over to the clean roof of Dom’s shed, a morsel of something in the first one’s mouth. The other flew away, but the first began, in a desultory way, to pick at and nibble the morsel, before it too, followed its mate and flew to the trees in the back gardens further up the road.        The morsel was of a few berries from the felled Elder tree  :-(


Bright sunshine, a bare wall and as yet, no workmen erecting a fence!

Anne ….. July 31st. 2018


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