Jennifer’s Garden Diary (14th May 2011)

Week ending 14th May 2011

My garden is full of birds, some are still singing but I am sure others are busy hatching or feeding nestlings. A tiny brown bird had a nest in the bank I can see from my kitchen window, all day long she, or maybe it was they, were busy catching insects and bringing them to their babies; this has now stopped so I hope they have flown and not been killed, flown I think as there is no sign of nest being harmed. The very distinctive hen blackbird with one white tail feather has been eating my gooseberries but that has also ceased, I presume she too is hatching.  The Magpie’s nest is quiet, hardly visible now there are leaves on trees.

As well as birdsong I have the lovely perfume of broad bean flowers to please me. So I have music, perfume and the gorgeous sight of whitethorn in bloom. Whitethorn, the May, is in my bank and there are seedlings all over the place. I have removed some wondering if “little men from up the airy mountain down the leafy glen will put their sharpest thorns in my bed at night”.  So far OK!

With all these delights gardening is pure pleasure but still it is work. I have planted out more brussel sprouts and summer cabbage and laboriously put collars round them, the perfume I mentioned in last diary did not seem to work, several plants had keeled over and when I pulled them up their roots were eaten by the horrid white grubs of root fly. I should try essential oil as my friend Sally recommended. I have erected the bamboo frame for runner beans, two that I raised indoors are twining up and every day or two I sow two more, hoping by spacing the sowing I am pacing the harvesting. Already two have come up. I never cease to get a thrill when seeds germinate, it is magic as is all the genetic information they contain. How does a runner bean know which way twist up a pole?