Tag Archives: north facing garden

My Garden

When I restarted my blog a few months ago, I promised that the Old Bat would not go on and on about her garden, boring everyone to death.  I did say that I might write a little update,  so this is it.

I have only a very small plot,  a patch of grass in front of the house running down to the iron fence next to the pavement.  There is a lilac tree on one side of the gate and a weigela on the other side.  Both are mature trees that have to be kept trimmed. Just beyond my large bay window there is an old camellia hedge which spoils the view to the park beyond, but is home to a variety of birds. I keep my bird feeder beside this hedge and spend quite a lot of time watching them come and go. My neighbour in the flat next door enjoys them so much that she came around with a bucket of fat balls to help with the feeding. No bird needs to go hungry this coming winter.

My garden has not been a great success this year  – in fact, it has been a disaster. The main problem is that the garden faces north, so it only gets  good sun in high summer, at other times it gets a few hours from the east or west. My old garden faced south. It was a big shock for my fuchsias in their pots to be placed facing north east or north west. They certainly protested: instead of flowering in July they left it until October or not at all. The frosty nights have started catching my favourite plants in full bloom.

Last year I sowed a few trailing nasturtium seeds below the camellia hedge. What a big mistake, they all flowered, dropping their seeds on the leaf compost below. During this fairly wet summer these seeds grew into extremely strong plants and became a green and orange hedge throttling everything in their path. I had to cut windows in this monster so that my fuchsias and my collection of hydrangeas could get some light. Yes, I know that the leaves make a good salad and the flowers and seeds are also edible but I will never plant those seeds again. By the end of the summer even the grassy lawn had been taken over by these dratted plants. As I now look out of my window in November, there they are, still creeping all over the camellia hedge, their orange faces grinning at me. There will be hundreds of seeds dropping later so I will have to root them out next spring before they get too big. It will be an uneven battle, as they have crafty methods of surviving.

My bird feeder has given me great pleasure. It has two hanging feeders which are always kept full, one with seeds, the other with fat balls, with a bowl of water nearby. All the common garden birds visit, lots of sparrows, flights of long tailed tits, blue tits and great tits, nothing exotic. About three weeks ago a very bossy robin appeared, taking complete command of the whole feeder. Any bird that dared come for their normal feed was chased viciously away, feathers flying everywhere. In between fighting off all the birds  he was fighting his reflection in my large window. This behaviour lasted about ten days. I enquired about this of my bird expert friend. She told me  that this was  the time of year that robins mark their territory. At the moment he only visits now and again so all the other birds have come back to feed. I have always known that robins are not the charming birds pictured on Christmas cards but I did not realise that they are quite so  nasty.

One little garden surprise, early in the spring a friend gave me five bulbs. The label had come off the packet so we had no idea what they were. I planted them just below my window and then forgot about them. It is now November when everything is starting to die except under my window where I have five beautiful large white freesias.

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