It’s cold. Minus two degrees centigrade, which is too darn chilly for gardening as far as I’m concerned. Most of the plants are frozen, anything with tender leaves has mushed into a green icy gloop, and the little daffodils that opened last week are now ragged yellow ice blobs.
However, there was a glorious sunrise this morning, a little bit earlier than yesterday, and I popped out to see what else I could spot in the garden for Six on Saturday.
Given the icy mush plant situation, what stood out most were the little statues and decorations in the garden, all the stone, metal and concrete things that don’t suffer from the cold.
Like this little stone bird. This charming bird was a gift from my parents, and I love it’s cosy shape and beady eye. It’s a weighty little fellow, made of stone, and it has pride of place on the table at the top of the garden, with the witch hazel and succulents. On the fence is the willow bird feeder that the blackbirds fight over. I’ve had to repair this since a squirrel attacked it, but it’s still functional, and watching the birds feed from here has been a wintery lockdown highlight for me. (There’s not much else going on really)
These three birds were from Frome market, and a Christmas gift from me to my husband. They catch the wind a bit, bobbing in the breeze in a rather charming fashion.
At the base of the picture is another willow structure with some fatballs for the birds. This will probably be moved for sweetpeas in the spring, but serves as another birdfeeding spot for now.
My third selection for the week is Hazel O’ Concrete, the horses head statue that we found in the garden when we moved in. I adorned it with a garland of twisted hazel, to give it a unicorny vibe. I’d thought of calling it Willowstone, which sounds either romantic or naff, depending on my mood. Instead I call it Hazel O’Concrete, which is a more accurate name for its key constituents, and reminds me of a 1980s popstar.
This bronze flower spins in the breeze, and in a storm it reaaaaallly goes round fast. It was a gift from my husband a few birthdays ago, and has pride of place by the birdbath.
I’ve been doing my best to keep the birdbath unfrozen, using a pan of hot water to melt the ice. I was a bit surprised to see yesterday’s ice still on the ground where I’d left it, but then realised that nothing is thawing yet. Just visible in the background is the little scottie dog statue that was here when we arrived. He’s guarding the bottom border.
My final ‘thing’ from the garden this week is lichen on the disco ball. This disco ball has graced three of our gardens, over the past 14 years or so, and has developed quite a patina. It’s hung from the apple tree with a bronze windcatcher, to spin the disco ball and achieve maximum sparkle.
I love having disco balls in the garden, they bounce the light around and catch the eye and when the sun catches this one in the evening, it brings a bit of sparkle to this spot under the apple tree. In this garden though it’s damp and a bit dark, and so it’s started to grow mould and lichen.
I can’t quite decide if I like this lichen or not. On one hand, botany’s cool and lichens and mosses are amazingly interesting plants, with a remarkable capacity to grow in the most inhospitable seeming settings. On the other hand, disco balls are supposed to be shiny!
If you’d like to see some gardens with actual plants and gardening going on, then check out The Propagators blog for Six on Saturday, as this week he’s been pruning roses.