Monday, 28 February 2011

28.02. Camellia and daffodil

Hello, I thought I should give you an update about my garden again, I am eagerly patrolling every day to make sure not to miss any important events there :-) Yesterday I found the first camellia open! It is the really important sign of spring and a milestone every year. Some years the daffodils open before the camellia, other years the camellia opens long before the daffodils; I think that air temperature is more important here than ground temperature and a potential frost in the ground. Mind you, some years we don’t even have frost in the ground the whole winter...not this winter though, from mid November to mid January we had frost in
the ground on and off – more on than off. It has been the worst winter since I moved to London 12 years ago.

But here is the first camellia, isn’t it lovely – soon to be followed by hundreds and hundreds of other similar one. And from now on I really don’t want any air frost, as the open flowers don’t tolerate frost at all, even only a few hours below zero over night can leave the whole bush with several hundred flowers completely ruined. It has happened before and all I can do is to hand pick every flower and let the unopened buds continue to develop. After a week or so the bush is in flower again, providing there is no more overnight frost!

So the daffodils lost the race this year, but it can’t be more than a day or two before this little one is fully open. I thought it looked so sweet so I had to take a picture of it; I will try to remember to take another one of this one when it is fully open. I have daffodils in all four corners of the garden, so they mature at different stages depending on how much sun they get. That lengthens the season, but no matter how many daffodils I have, I always think I should have had more when I get to the end of the season! You see, daffodils are the only flowers I cut and take indoors; I never take any other flower from the garden inside as I don’t want to contaminate my indoor plants with pests from outside. But the daffodils flower so early in the year that the pests have hardly woken up yet, so it is reasonably safe.

And speaking of pests; I am soon to start the annual war against those terrible little blighters that munch away on leaves and flowers in my garden. I am just stocking up on weapons, lining up my defence and working out a plan of action! Last year's ecological pest control was quite good until it started raining – and continued raining for 6 weeks. In such damp conditions that particular one didn’t do well. But I will try it for another year and if we get a nice warm summer...I mean, now that we are long overdue a nice, hot summer (!!!), I can safely use this particular pest control, as it works better in dry warm weather. Suffice to say, you will hear more, much more about my war against pests here at my blog. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen the foxes yet, they mate at this time, and then the vixen need to dig a den to have somewhere to give birth to the cubs. Either the foxes next door have given up using my garden as a birthing place, after last year’s stale mate, or they feel safe enough to use the brambles next door as their den. Or, if I am really lucky, they have found a better place a bit further down in the street, and they won’t come in my garden at all :-)

OK, short and sweet today, that’s it. But when we get a good sunny day I will try to make a video from my garden and post it here; you will be able to get a much better impression of my garden from a film rather from individual photos. But for now; until next time, take care.

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