I know this is the time for looking back at the ups and downs in the garden for 2012. I had many ups and downs in 2012, in the garden and otherwise. I am going to run very quickly through 2012 and just say that overall it was a pretty s**t year. The weather was s**t here in Britain most of the time, the wettest on record, and I spent most of it in hospital or recovering at home from various medical issues. That was 2012, and 2013 can only be better in every way! But let's move swiftly on to 2013 :-)
Here is a photo of my garden taken yesterday, 2013 took off on a well behaved note. It was 13 degrees Celsius and crisp sunshine and it felt like a nice spring day. A huge bumble bee kept flying past me while I was taking photos and...what? Yes, I did say bumble bee! No, it wasn’t the only sign of spring in my garden, read on...
My tulips are emerging! Can you believe it? I have them in the ground too, and they are on their way up everywhere.
In the foreground here are iris, to the left and right are daffodils just about to emerge and down in the bottom right corner one single snowdrop coming up.
These green spikes are my Narcissi Jonquilla, I can’t believe they are already on their way up, they didn’t flower until April last year.
More iris, these are between my roses.
And this is from bottom left, two crocuses emerging, a primrose yet to flower and two snowdrops emerging.
The bumblebee wasn’t the only insect in my garden yesterday, I couldn’t believe my own eyes when I saw a red lily beetle sitting on one of the hellebore leaves I had just cut off!! He was a bit dozy, but very much alive. That just means one thing though, my lilies are on their way up too, the beetles wouldn’t come out of their hibernation if there wasn’t food for them to eat. I guess I have to start my lily beetle patrol very early this year! My patrol is simply walking around the garden with a white ice cream box lid looking for beetles, if I find any I carefully shake them onto the lid where I can see the red beetles clearly against the white and there I squash them with my trowel. No mercy! There is no effective organic or un-organic treatment against red lily beetles and until someone invents one, my method seems to be what is recommended. This fellow got the same treatment...
Just as it was getting too dark to take any more photos and I had decided to go inside, I spotted this one on a Heuchera leaf! I am not into caterpillars so I have no idea what it is and what it will turn into – maybe my readers know? All I know is that where there’s one caterpillar, there is usually more. I didn’t see any of his mates, but I didn’t look too closely, I just tried to take a photo of this one in the rapidly fading light. He kept curling up though, when I leaned over to take the picture, probably thought I was a bird coming to eat him (that would have been a big bird!) I decided not to give him the same fate as the lily beetle, instead I chucked him in the compost bin where he can’t get out but has an ample selection of gourmet food :-) But...caterpillars in January in London??
I don’t mind a nice, warm, early spring, we had one last year, and had people walking around in T-shirts and shorts in the middle of March – but that was it, from then on it just rained. So this year I think I would like it a bit more spread out, thank you very much – summer when it is supposed to and rain in the winter and so on. Just a normal year, no extremes, no weather records to break, nothing special, just a normal year. That would be nice. Until next time, take care.