Tree Following, February 2016 – Young oak tree

Oak tree Jan'16 -1As I mentioned last month I’m going to follow this young oak tree that is growing on a nearby plot.

The trunk grows straight for about five feet before branching out in various directions.  I don’t know if it’s natural growth or if it was pruned so causing this.

Oak tree Jan'16 - 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak tree Jan'16 - 3Being a deciduous tree, that is one that that sheds leaves annually, it’s surprising to see that there are still a few hanging on.

Have a look at this extensive Tree Following post over on Pat’s, The Squirrelbasket, blog to see what it’s all about.

Have a good weekend!

 

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Tree Following, February 2016 – Liz’s Amelanchier

This is my second year doing Tree Following and I would like to thank Mike for inviting me to guest post here again and to Pat, over on The Squirrelbasket,  for hosting  it.

After last year’s exotic Stewardia it seemed a good idea to follow a native North American tree, the Amelanchier commonly known as a Serviceberry.  I am fortunate to have one in my front yard here in Lexington, Kentucky.  As mentioned last month it was a gift from my next door neighbour in memory of my mother who died in 1995, so has a special meaning when I look at it whilst passing by on the way from or to my front door.

The left-hand picture below shows the entire tree, and the other one is a close up of the multi-stemmed trunk. Both were taken after a snowfall in late January.

Liz's Amelanchier, Jan'16 - 1   Liz's Amelanchier, Jan'16 - 2

Liz's Amelanchier, Jan'16 - 3

My dogs, Charlie and Dulcie, make a brief appearance again this year being seen here in front of the tree.  I do so admire photos of dogs sitting obediently and quietly with no leash in sight but these two aren’t as well behaved.

There is much information, and folklore, to share about the Amelanchier but for this month I’ve kept it personal and simple by way of introduction.

Have a look at this extensive Tree Following post to see what it’s all about.

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The weather last week…

continued to be unsettled but I did spend a welcome couple of hours plotting on Tuesday morning when it was sunny, although cold and windy.

Mini daffodilsThe mini daffodils are doing well and looking good.

Sadly most of the crocuses aren’t faring so good due to heavy rain and high winds we’ve had at times but I was pleased to see these yellow ones.

Yellow crocuses

 

 

 

 

 

Snowdrops out back at homeOut back at home it’s mostly  grass with some trees along the boundary fence. At the foot of one is a large group of snowdrops including these.

The weather later today, overnight and most of tomorrow is looking pretty dire with lots of heavy rain and winds gusting up to 50 mph at times.  That means I’ll be unlikely to do much, if any, plotting again during the coming week.

How to cope with changeable weather is an article written by Alys Fowler which appeared in The Guardian yesterday that’s well worth reading.

Have a good week!

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Perhaps this year…

I still have a couple of Coleus* Fairway on the windowsill at home that I grew from seed last year. They’re in five inch pots, have grown to around eight inches or so and continue to grow new leaves, and small flower spikes which I remove to prolong the show of foliage.

Coleus 'Fairway'

I’ll be sowing some more this year along with the variety Carefree, which has oak-like leaves, that I grew the previous year.

In the past I’ve tried to grow various indoor flowering plants from seed but never had any success.  I’m trying again with Mimosa pudica Pink Sparkleswhich didn’t germinate last year, along with Pentas lanceolata New Look  and Senico cruentus Spring Glory.  All these only grow to around ten inches which make them ideal for pots on my windowsills.

Fingers crossed and perhaps this year…

Have a good weekend!

[* Note Coleus blumeii is now listed as Solenostemon scutellaroides! ]

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Birds and books

Thursday was cold and sunny, and the plot still too soggy to do any proper plotting, so I pruned the grapevine.  Whilst doing that a robin appeared, and later I saw two of them mostly flitting in and out of the hawthorn.

Snowy teasel seed headsAs I was putting the secateurs back in the shed something caught my eye over by the wild patch.  Looking round I was delighted to see a goldfinch perched on one of the teasels. I watched as it dipped it’s head to pull out a seed then look round before doing it again, and it did that more several times before flying off. As I’ve often mentioned I always grow a few teasels, pictured here a few weeks ago,  in the hope of seeing one do this and at long last I have.  I was too far away to take a picture but do please have a look at this wonderful photo of a goldfinch on a teasel head taken by Heather Lowe, a fellow member of the Facebook group Golin Great Tit!

I did the Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday and saw just the usual birds, and numbers, the best of which was a male chaffinch.

Recently I’ve read a handful of books set between just before WW1 through to the late 1930’s, which is period that I find really interesting.  They included We That Are Left by Juliet Greenwood which was a most enjoyable, and satisfying, read being one of the best books I’ve read in ages.

Hardcastle's Spy by Graham IsonI’ve just started a new to me series, the Hardcastle novels , set in London during WW1 and written by Graham Ison.  I’m reading the first one, Hardcastle’s Spy, on my Kobo Mini e-reader,  but I’m sure that the rest will include both library hardbacks and second-hand paperbacks.  With thirteen books written so far they will hopefully provide me with plenty of good reading over the coming months.

Have  a good week!

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A daffodil, jigsaws and Birdwatch

On Monday morning I was surprised to see that this mini daffodil had flowered ahead of the first crocuses. This is something that I’ve never seen before.

First plot daffodil, Mon 25 Jan'16  Purple crocuses, Mon 25 Jan'16

I really could, and indeed should, have found out the painters of the two pictures that I’ve shown in recent posts.  Thanks to Sharon’s comprehensive comment I know now the allotment one in the Dig for Victory post is by Michael Herring, and Liz kindly emailed me to say that last Sunday’s shed picture in the It’s damp and dull… post is by Edward Hersey. Many thanks.  As they, and others, also pointed out both these pictures are available as jigsaws. I may well get these later in the year to do during next winter as I’ve always enjoyed doing them, although it’s been some years since I last did one.

This coming weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which I’m looking forward to doing as usual.  It looks like the weather is going to be mostly cloudy, rainy and windy so I’d be surprised if I see more than the few usual birds that I generally see.

Have a good weekend!

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It’s damp and dull…

here today so I’ll be spending much of it armchair gardening or sofa flying.

Here’s another allotment painting, this time showing the inside of a shed and the view through the door.

The shed

Once again I don’t know the artist, and it’s another picture that would make a good jig-saw if it isn’t already one.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn lounging | 43 Comments