A day at the garden

This is the most beautiful February I’ve had in a climate that actually has seasons. I have been taking walks, working in the garden, and generally escaping outside as often as I can. This afternoon we took a trip to Bodnant Garden and had a beautiful visit. Most of my photos are still on my camera, but I grabbed this picture of some of the many snowdrops sprinkled throughout the grounds — the only kind of snow we’re likely to for the rest of this “winter”!

Feline visitors

This kitty likes to come around our garden from time to time, and I’ll watch it from inside, but for the first time today I encountered it while I was out working in the garden myself. I startled it at first as I came around the house, but it quickly decided I was ok and came to say hello.

Bird-watching over breakfast

Objectively, this is a rather poor photo. It is cropped from a photo taken on my phone in a brief moment with no time to think. But it’s a glimpse of what makes my garden special to me these days.

It all started several weeks ago, while I was working in the garden. I was weeding the stone walkway that wraps around the side of our house when a robin flew down and perched on the rhododendrons just a couple feet from me. If I looked straight at it, it got shy and backed away, but if I kept my head down toward the weeds under me and just peeked out if the corner of my eye, the robin would hop within inches of my hand. He was probably trying to take advantage of the little bugs stirred up by my yard work, but it felt a lot like making a friend.

That robin comes to visit regularly now, and sometime after that visit my husband decided to get a bird feeder for the house. Instead of a traditional freestanding feeder he got this one that sticks to the window outside our dining room. For the first time (that we have seen) this morning another bird decided to perch on the feeder and nearly cleaned it out. Needless to say we’ll be stocking it regularly from now on.

Discovering flowers in the winter

Every morning, I step out into our garden for at least a moment. On a practical level, I do it to toss the previous day’s coffee grounds into the garden bed before making coffee. But I also like to take a few seconds to smell the sea and feel the fresh air on my face.

Today, the air felt particularly soft and mild. I wasn’t in a hurry for my coffee, so instead of ducking back inside I decided to take a walk around the garden. I padded across the stone patio and around the corner to the side of the house. There, I discovered these newly blooming rhododendrons:

The garden in the fall

I love watching each season make its way into our garden, bringing flowers here or berries there. It tends to sneak up on me, until I turn around and all of a sudden one of the plants is an entirely different color. So I get especially happy when I notice the change in progress, like these tiny berries starting to come out:

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Weeding

I took a half-hour break today to do some weeding in the garden. Despite mulching this spring, the weeds are still making a stand! I battled them back to this: