The reed mace has spread from the eastern side of the gardens and has now begun to colonise the west pond. I don’t suppose it should have such a prominent place in a posh garden but I rather like it. I like its shaggy, unkemptness. And the moorhens love it; fleeing to it for cover whenever I approach. It hasn’t been flattened by snow yet either which adds to its appeal.
I planted this grouping of three Betula jacquemontii ‘Snow Queen’ in early 2009 and they’re doing pretty well. Once a year, in winter, I fetch a bucket of warm water* and a cloth and wipe down the stems to show off their striking white stems. I did have to explain to a recent visitor that no, I didn’t wash down the trunks of all the trees in the garden.
A coating of ice crystals helps the birches to sparkle.
All the fields about the Priory are sugar-frosted; crisp and crackling under a clear blue sky.
But the sun will soon be up to melt the magic.
Recently, I was writing foolishly of photinia buds trembling with the excitement of imminent Spring. Waiting for the off. Now encrusted with ice, they aren’t going anywhere.
In the ditch between the two ponds, these frozen (insert name of plant here – as I haven’t got a clue) are ethereal and strangely beautiful.
They remind me of the forest in an animated Czech children’s film from the early 70’s. About a mole. Or a lonely, sad office block. Or both.
The cold snap serves as a reminder (were one needed) that the garden’s birds still need feeding – though I do feed them all year round.
But you’d think that having fed them, the least these blue tits …
… could do is hang around to have their picture taken.
But oh, no – they couldn’t possibly do that.
Far too busy. Ingrates.
Still, sometimes they come back …
… and strike a pose. Show off ingrates.
* the water is warm for my benefit – not the trees’.