The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Normally I would start with the good, but not in this case.  I think I’ll start with the bad, then the ugly and end on a high with the good. When I went into the woodland this morning I was greeted with a sight that I never wanted to see again, Fritillaria meleagris flowers ripped from their stalks!

All along both sides of the path were signs that something or someone had been here before me, ripping them apart but not seeming to eat any of them. Mr. P hasn’t been seen or heard for a couple of years now so I don’t think I can blame him. is it the same something that has been digging everywhere too, mainly by Cyclamen hederifolium corms and having a nibble?! I’m thinking squirrels, no proof though.

The other day it was warm enough to sit in the conservatory and have a good rest after my session of gardening. However, over in the left hand corner of the garden, behind all my daffodils, I can see through to what was the old village school but is now a private house. I felt I was sitting in a goldfish bowl, I’m private in the summer when all the leaves are on the trees, but all winter I have felt very exposed! A white minibus has been on their drive for quite some time now and it looks as though it is parked in the corner of my garden.

This is the Ugly part of my heading. Behind the daffodils is the ditch that runs between the back garden and the woodland and behind the daffodils in the middle distance is a narrow lane which is never used by the farmer to get to his fields, so the minibus is quite a way from me, but even so I don’t want to see it thank you. I have looked round my garden and found a Camellia which is looking a bit cramped and can be moved I think to form a screen, I will put is on the “to do” list for Derek! There is room for it behind my daffodils and should hide the minibus as well as give me my privacy back in the winter.

I’ll end on a high with the Good, it doesn’t take much to make me smile when I go into the garden and this morning it started with a pot of crocus waiting to be planted on the rockery.

A lot of my crocus have already gone over, but these just looked so beautiful, such a deep rich colour, just waiting for any passing bee.

Wood anemones, Anemone nemerosa, are carpeting the woodland floor in one area, they are spreading nicely without any help whatsoever from me and turn their little faces to the sun when it shines through the bare branches.

In a different area I have planted Anemone nemerosa Robinsoniana which is now starting to spread, the flowers are a pale lilac in colour and look lovely between the narcissus. I have some doubles on the little hill at the end of the woodland, but they are just coming through now, they always seem to be a bit later than the straight species.

I’ll finish with a view across the rockery to the narcissus in the corner. The little shrub is Prunus Kojo no mai. You may remember I had one previously here but it grew much too big, well over 6 ft. It was chopped down and this little shrub is a sucker which has grown on its roots quite a way from where the original one was. It is so pretty it has to stay, but will be kept within bounds to make sure this one doesn’t grow like its parent!

It didn’t take much to cheer me up again!

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14 Responses to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. Ian Lumsden says:

    Blackbirds. Lovely birds though destructive at this time of year. Possible anyway. Look at the good things, of which you have ample supplies.

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve not known blackbirds do this in the past Ian, it was usually the pheasant which caused all the problems. I have rather a lot of blackbirds at the moment, so I hope it isn’t them!

  2. Mary B says:

    We had something pulling the heads of one area of snowdrops earlier this year. After patient watching it turned out the culprits were Wood Pidgeons. Like your damage the flower heads were just left on the ground. Bad indeed.
    I sympathize with your privacy problem. We had a quiet elderly gentleman neighbor for most of the twenty years we have lived here. Since he died the house has been rented out to various tenants. The present lot decided to take a chain saw to the boundary hedge and trees including those on our property . No other garden activity !! This winter we have had complete loss of privacy for a large section of house and garden . They also park multi vehicles ,now in full view. Goldfish bowls are not comfortable!

    • Pauline says:

      I could imagine it being wood pigeons Mary, they are rather a pain here with too many of them for comfort! What a shame you had a neighbour who took such drastic action on the boundary trees, at least I can plant something that should give me privacy again in a few years.

  3. rusty duck says:

    Well the ripping off the frit blooms without eating them has Mr P written all over it. Not the digging though. We have a rabbit infestation here and they’ve certainly been digging! I would have thought rabbits would have completed their meal, unless they found them not to their liking. Either way it’s so frustrating.
    I love Prunus Kojo no mai. I read, having acquired one myself, the trick is to lightly prune it late August, which will keep it down to about a metre in height. It’s worked so far!

    • Pauline says:

      It does sound like Mr.P doesn’t it Jessica, but I haven’t heard or seen him for a couple of years now, I was thinking that he must have passed on! That is good news about Kojo no mai, I must remember to keep this offspring clipped, although it was probably the old one that kept me private from next door!

  4. Noelle says:

    I got so fed up with about four pairs of woodpigeons coming to trample over the garden, that I have removed the bird feeders. Small birds still patrol the garden and come to bath in the bird bath, such as robins, and goldcrests, long tailed tits, and other small ones, and the garden is really a different place altogether. Maybe you could think of something evergreen to grown over the fence to help give you some privacy.

    • Pauline says:

      The problem Noelle is that there isn’t a fence, if there was, then I would be private! A Devon bank is the way boundaries are marked in the coubtryside here, which is a bank of earth planted with trees and shrubs on top and there are 2 between my neighbour and myself which is fine in the summer when the leaves are on the trees.

  5. Denise says:

    Of how sad Pauline, your beautiful fritillaries! I have no idea what has done it but I can well imagine squirrels could be the culprits. I hope the trees will sprout soon and give you back your privacy. Other than that, I think your daffodils are looking magnificent!

    • Pauline says:

      I almost dread going into the woodland at the moment Denise as more poor fritillaries are lying on the ground each morning. Maybe I’ll have to get a camera fixed to one of my trees! The daffodils are making me very happy at the moment, as one variety finishes another takes over so they will keep coming for a while yet.

  6. snowbird says:

    What a shame about your Fritillaries. I’ve caught the blackbirds here digging up the crocus, they seem to be after mud for their nests. What a shame about the view, I do hope your camellia grows quickly, maybe plant an evergreen tree. Lovely blooms, especially that crocus.xxx

    • Pauline says:

      The flowers make up for everything else Dina, what would I do without them? I showed Derek, the gardener, the camellia which I was thinking of moving, but he thinks the rhododendron next to it would be easier to move, so we will do that when it has finished flowering. x

  7. That is such a shame about the damage to your fritillaries. Something used to attack my polyanthus in the early spring, which I suspected was woodpigeons or collared doves, but they seemed to eat the flowers. We rarely see wood pigeons now and there has been no damage to any polyanthus! Plenty of blackbirds though, so who knows?! 😁 Even though we don’t own our views, it is also a real shame about the changes on your boundary – how big is your camellia if you think it would screen it?!

    • Pauline says:

      I’ll say it very quietly Cathy, but there weree no more new fritillaries on the path this morning! Whatever it was just ripped them at the side of the path, they didn’t walk in amongst them. I have far too many wood pigeons so it maybe them, I just don’t know. Derek had a look at the camellia yesterday and said that the rhododendron next to it would move much better, the root ball is much more shallow. We will move it (that is the royal “we”!) when it has finished flowering, it is about four and a half feet at the moment, but it will grow and I can be patient when I need to be!

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