Monday, 28 January 2013

'Bring Me Sunshine'


"Bring me sunshine!" is what the above clump of snowdrops must have been shrieking out before I rescued them from a mound of leaves yesterday. My fault entirely for not doing this job before now. Changes in the garden last year, including the building of a wall meant that leaves had piled up more than they usually do. I filled two black bin bags yesterday with them so more raw material for making leaf mould, although this clump and two others have suffered. I only hope that they live to tell the tale.

The sunshine was around long enough yesterday for me to spend a little time in the garden although it was on the windy side. The day started off though with me perched on a stool looking out of the living room window for an hour completing the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. As usual on these occasions I'm sure that the birds know that they are being watched and therefore a number of regular customers were reluctant to show their beaks at the open all hours cafe. This year's visitors included blackbirds, long tailed tits, blue tit, coal tit, great tit, wood pigeon, dunnock, wood pigeons, magpies and robin. I live in hope of a parrot or eagle alighting at the bird table but nothing exotic to report this year.

Then outside in the afternoon where I rescued the snowdrops and did some sorting out in the greenhouse. The bite in the wind though made sure that there was no danger of getting carried away and after an hour or so I felt that the warmth of the house was a more attractive proposition. Here the sunny theme continued as we eat our one and only 'Sunshine' red kabocha winter squash for our evening meal. It was cooked in a sort of soupy stew - the other ingredients being onions, cannellini beans, celery, red pepper, herbs, stock and some sliced pork and leek sausage. Some crusty granary bread would have gone down nicely with it but there was none to hand. Having said that it was sufficiently filling without bread. The squash had a most sweet, nutty taste and is a must for this year. Sadly last years sowings which all germinated did not flourish when they were planted. I was fortunate that I had passed a plant along a plant to my allotment neighbour which thrived and that he was generous enough to give me one of the resulting squashes. It had been waiting patiently for just the right moment for consumption. No photo of either squash or stew to illustrate this post but the rest of the evening was filled with the warm glow of summer. Now that we have also consumed the last of the frozen strawberries there are only some shallots remaining from last year's harvest. Time to get sowing again!

8 comments:

  1. I had every intention of doing the Birdwatch, but events took over and I just didn't have time. I've never seen a long tailed tit in my garden, though I'm always watching out for something new, I'm thrilled when I see something out of the ordinary. Your meal sounds delicious, it's always nice to include something home grown, though it's lean around here this year. I must do better and make more of an effort.

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  2. So glad we've had the long awaited thaw but the air over the weekend still felt nippy, with the wind catching the chill from the melting ice. Still at least there were glimpses of the sun, which is always welcome. We could all do with the sun showing more often though!

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  3. Blanched snowdrops! I'm sure they will recover, nature finds a way as they say! Sounds like you had a very nice relaxing weekend. I forgot all about the garden watch but did visit my local nature reserves, not many birds there either, I expect they were showing off in other people's gardens!

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  4. We did our Big Garden Birdwatch on Saturday, but yesterday, Monday, walking across the field next door was a white pheasant, why didn't he come into the garden a few days ago?!
    One year when we didn't clear the leaves in the woodland, I wondered where all my snowdrops had gone, when I looked under the leaves I found that the leaves had just risen up on top, I would have thought they would have pierced through.

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  5. oh I have some like that and it always makes me wonder about those that 'slow' garden and leave leaves on borders and how the bulbs fare.
    I have wonky looking narcissus which seemed to have been bent a little by the snow

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  6. I'm in the squash fan club too.

    Glad you rescued the snowdrops from potential anaemia - snow being the operative word, I've just returned from a snowy UK, though the thaw came with avengence....

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  7. I must see what my snowdrops are doing tomorrow... the snow is melting fast, so they may be visible. They're such resilient little plants, I'm sure yours will recover quickly. I always leave a thick layer of leaves on my flower beds over winter and the crocuses sometimes grow actually through a leaf!

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  8. Poor little snowdrops! I'm sure they will recover, they must have to deal with the same conditions in the wild all the time. Lunch sounds lovely.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any
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Namasté

- Anna.