Friday, 29 April 2016

Time Share

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that every time I went into the glasshouse there was I little robin in there. Each time I opened the door and allowed him to flutter out. Finally I decided I'd have to repair the pane of glass that had slipped in the roof over the winter. When I went to move a hanging basket that was hanging in the way, the robin fluttered out of it.

I use this hanging basket to store plant labels and garden netting and other sundries.  When I had a closer look I realised that the robin had built a nest in the middle of the basket under an upturned pot.
It is a very clever place to nest. Nice and warm no wind or drafts and no cats can access it.

Since I found the nest I've been keeping a close eye, without disturbing it.  This week I noticed the robin very busy going to and fro with grubs.  When she was out foraging I had a peep, and saw a nest full of little chics all with open beaks waiting for their next meal.

Monday, 25 April 2016

                                Mouse Plant (Arisarum proboscideum)

This beautiful little woodland plant is native to Italy and Spain. It has settled into my garden very well. Its gorgeous green arrowhead leaves form a low, spreading carpet beginning late in winter.

 It is a joy to part the leaves every spring and see the lovely little mouse like flowers hiding beneath.  If you didn't go looking, the flowers would come and go unseen.  The long tail on each fat little spathes lends the flowers the appearance of a family of mice, enhanced by the chocolate-maroon coloration of the upper portion and tail. The lower portion of the spathe is white.

It is hardy and easily grown, it grows from a tuber that develops rhizomes which develop more tubers and offsets, for a slowly expanding clump, never invasive but may after many years need to be lifted and divided.

It is one of my favourite plants in the garden, it's not showy or colourful,
but its shy little flowers are a true joy and I look forward to seeing it every spring.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Willow harvest

This blog is going to be all things garden and craft related. So, pretty much about everyday life here at Froghollow.

Spring had been very late here this year, Its not long since I've harvested this years crop of willows, usually this gets done in the winter, but it was so wet this year I've been late getting around to it.
The willows I harvest get used in the garden as plant supports and some I use to make baskets.
I grow a range of colours, and some very vigorous continentals, these are great as bean poles.

The willows are starting to sprout new shoots now already, once they get going they grow tremendously fast, well over 10 feet in a season.